Cecilia W. Samul, of Williamsville, a retired physical education teacher, died Tuesday in St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. She was 83.
Born in Buffalo, the former Cecilia Witczak was a graduate of Fosdick-Masten High School. She earned her bachelor's degree from Indiana University and her master's degree in education from Canisius College. During World War II, she worked at Curtiss-Wright.
She taught girls' physical education, health and Polish at Kensington High School for 32 years, retiring in 1976. She also coached the school's girls' basketball and softball teams. She also coached the school's drill team, baton twirlers and marching band.
Her son Charles said she once turned down an offer to become director of health education for the Buffalo schools because she preferred working with students.
"She was very dedicated," her son said. "Back before these things were common, she'd bring in someone from Alcoholics Anonymous to talk about how alcohol affects you or someone from Roswell Park to talk about how smoking damages your body."
She was a member of the Kensington High School Retired Teachers Association and the Polish Falcons of America, which gave her its Gold Legion of Honor for many years of volunteer work.
She played softball until she was in her 40s and was an avid golfer. She also was a devoted fan of the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres.
Surviving are her husband of 56 years, Charles M.; a daughter, Anita "Leah" Caldarola of Berkeley, Calif.; a son, Charles of Wynnewood, Pa.; a sister, Wanda Rozek of Cheektowaga; and a granddaughter.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Josaphat Catholic Church, William and Peoria streets, Cheektowaga.