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Simon L. Hunley, gospel group patriarch April 20, 1925 -- Jan. 7, 2007

Services for Simon Lovester Hunley of Buffalo, father of the family gospel singing group, the Hunley Singers, will be held at noon Saturday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave. The wake is at 10.

Mr. Hunley died Sunday in Erie County Medical Center after a short illness. He was 81.

His wife, the former Corareen Palmore, a talented vocalist, began the group in the late 1940s and it came to include all eight of their children. He also became part of the group, and they traveled throughout the country performing.

Locally, they performed in churches and talent shows and made appearances on the annual Variety Club Telethon. In later years, he sang with his brothers and sisters in a group called the Big Three.

Born in Coosa, Ala., one of 12 children, he attended school in Deatsville, Ala., and moved to Buffalo with his family in 1950.

A crane operator at Master Builders, he never missed a day of work. When he retired in 1985 after nearly 35 years with the company, he received an award for perfect attendance.

Mr. Hunley was a longtime member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon.

His wife died in 1984. They were married 39 years.

Surviving are six sons, Lo-vester S., Larry James, Albert H., Carl I., Michael R. and Don Allen; two daughters, Bonnie C. Mims and Bernadine Hudson; two brothers, Harvey L. and Willie L.; and seven sisters, Classie Martin, Essie Jackson, Josephine Thompson, Lucille Woodruff, Ethel Riley, Dorothy Fuller and Maxine Walker.


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