Elizabeth Szalai, a native of Hungary who came to the United States in 1957 and later became an animal caretaker at the University at Buffalo, died Monday in her Town of Tonawanda home after a brief illness. She was 81.
Born Elizabeth Dora in Devavanya, Hungary, she attended school there before moving here as a young woman. Eight years later, she became an animal caretaker as part of research conducted at UB, where she worked until retiring in 1981.
She also was active in a local Hungarian Club and enjoyed gardening and traveling.
Her husband of 38 years, Julius, died in 1985.
Surviving are two daughters, Elizabeth A. Kinley of Port Richey, Fla., and Catherine E. Rinard of the Town of Tonawanda; a son, Julius Jr. of Chino Hills, Calif.; two sisters, Rozalia Gyulane and Maria Imrene, and a brother, Istvan, all of Hungary; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 9:30 a.m., Saturday in St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, 986 Grant St. Her cremains will be returned to Hungary.