Mary Lee Elias, a retired child support investigator for the Erie County Department of Social Services, died Saturday in her Buffalo home after a long struggle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. She was 63.
Miss Elias worked for the department for 38 years, retiring in 1995.
Born in the Black Rock section of Buffalo, she was a granddaughter of Effie and Karam Elias, who ran the C. Elias & Sons dry goods store at Tonawanda and Vulcan streets during the 1950s.
She graduated from St. John the Baptist School in 1955 and from Bishop McMahon High School in 1959. After attending night school for many years, she graduated from the University at Buffalo in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
"Mary Lee Elias will be remembered for her ability to love people, not only for what they are, but in spite of what they are," said Michael Tritto, her godson.
She formed many lasting friendships through her travels through Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. John Maron Catholic Church, 2040 Wehrle Drive, Amherst. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.