Story as told by her daughter, Elaine
My mother was an incredible woman! She raised four wonderful children, while also going back to school in her 30s. She was one of the most hardworking people; she worked tirelessly (20 hours a day 7 days a week!!) for what she believed in.
She worked for the city of North Tonawanda's Recreation Department, and she ran all of the year-round programs for developmentally disabled children and adults. She gave them hope. She gave them love. She taught them. She secured her own grants and everyone loved her!
She did this for over 30 years. She did everything from bowling to swimming, to helping them prepare to compete in the Special Olympics. (She also ran the programs for the Niagara & Orleans County Special Olympics!)
My mother loved working with kids and adults with disabilities. I want people to know that anyone who knew my mom, worked with her, or was a family member of someone in any of her programs, said that she changed their children's life or their loved one's life for the better!
She was always as healthy as a horse, until she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in July of 2002. She passed on December 2nd, 2002, and she donated her eyes through Unyts.
Ask any one of her "kids" from her programs, now that they are all grown up, who came back and worked with her. She was like no other and since her death, there has never been the programs in this city that we once had. It’s heartbreaking! She was one in a million.
We know that someone is able to see because of her eye donation. She had the most BEAUTIFUL blue eyes! To honor her memory, my family and I go to her favorite place, Three Sisters Islands in Niagara Falls, NY.
From Left to Right - Michael, Paula, Elaine, Karl, Karin, and Arlene.