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Wilson’s kindness says a lot about his character

I never knew Ralph Wilson, but I learned something about his character when I visited Mary Anna Klein in a Williamsville nursing home many years ago. Mary Anna was in her 90s at the time, having worked as a switchboard operator at the Country Club of Buffalo from age 16 until age 71.

Mary Anna had fond memories of many of the most prominent people in the Buffalo area – particularly of Wilson, who continued to remember her by sending flowers on her birthday every year until her death at age 95.

Malcolm Forbes once wrote: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” The recent News editorial said a lot about Wilson’s generosity and philanthropy, but I think his kindness toward a retired switchboard operator said even more about his character.

Vincent O. Hanley


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