Nov. 12, 1937 – Aug. 23, 2013
Lorraine H. Sole, longtime manager of the D&K Store on Grant Street and the matriarch of a Buffalo family with a long tradition of service to the city, died Friday in the Skilled Nursing Facility of DeGraff Memorial Hospital, North Tonawanda, where she had been a resident for several months. She was 75.
She was married to a former Niagara District Council member, the late Patrick Sole Sr. Her son, Patrick “Pat” Sole Jr., is director of permits and inspection services for the city. Her daughter, Mary Jane Savage, works for the Buffalo Board of Education. A grandson, Peter J. Savage III, is the city’s deputy corporation counsel.
When Mrs. Sole moved, in recent years, to the Timon Towers Apartments on Delaware Avenue, she became “a minor celebrity,” according to her daughter-in-law, Denice Sole.
“She loved it when her friends in the building informed her that they saw Pat or young Peter on the newscasts representing the city at a meeting or an event,” Denice Sole said. “She was really proud of them and all of her family.”
Before moving to Timon Towers, Mrs. Sole, who was born Lorraine Helen DeWitt in Buffalo, lived all her life on Buffalo’s West Side, where she was the first student to register at the then-new School 18. She was a graduate of Grover Cleveland High School and a lifelong active parishioner and founding member of the folk choir at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church on Herkimer Street.
“Almost everyone in the choir was family,” said her son-in-law, Peter J. Savage Jr. “They were good. They were asked to appear on local TV. There’s a history of music in the family. ”
Mrs. Sole managed the D&K Store, selling quality goods at a discount, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, her son-in-law noted.
“But everything else with her was family,” he said. “Over the years, she took care of her parents, her children and their children. Her best friends were her cousins who got together regularly as a club. Lately the focus was on her four great-granddaughters.”
In addition to her daughter, Mary Jane, and son, Patrick, she is survived by a brother, Burton F. De Witt.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1035 Delaware Ave.