Thelma J. Grunthaner, retired teacher of the deaf - The Buffalo News
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Thelma J. Grunthaner, retired teacher of the deaf

Feb. 12, 1939 – Aug. 7, 2013

Thelma Jane Grunthaner, a retired teacher at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, died Wednesday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. She was 74.

Born in St. Mary’s, Pa., Miss Grunthaner earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in special education from Buffalo State Teachers College.

She taught at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf for 35 years, retiring in 1994. She served as head of the Home Economics Department and was recognized as Teacher of the Year.

Formerly a resident of the Town of Tonawanda, she was a devoted Catholic, a member of the Catholic Alumni Club and served as a Eucharistic minister at Montgomery Park in East Amherst, where she lived for the past six years.

She was an expert seamstress, crocheter and crafter. She designed and made sweaters and blankets for her family and friends. She also was known for her cinnamon rolls and chocolate fudge. A dog lover, she was particularly fond of poodles.

Survivors include two sisters, Della Lentz and Gloria; a brother, Bill; and a close friend, Maureen Lenahan.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the chapel at Forest Lawn.

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