Feb. 12, 1923 – April 23, 2015
When Elizabeth T. Coley decided to close her Savoy Shop, a gift and bridal store on Delaware Avenue in about 1970, she got a job literally across the street.
“Betty, would you please, please come to work for me?” Peter Petri, the owner of Pitt Petri, asked her, according to one of her sons, Richard.
Mrs. Coley then worked for Pitt Petri, as a consultant helping young brides pick their china patterns, for almost 30 years, retiring at when she was 77.
“She was the complaint department, listening patiently to everyone and making sure that all their fears were allayed,” Richard Coley said. “For years, Mom knew more about who did what in Buffalo than anybody.”
Mrs. Coley, a Buffalo and Bertie Bay, Ont., resident, died April 23 in Rosa Coplon Nursing Home. She was 92.
A Mount Vernon, native, the former Elizabeth A. Taggart moved to Denver with her family as a youth, before working for the Army Air Forces in Colorado Springs, where she met her future husband, Charles H. “Trey” Coley III. They married in April 1945 and moved to Buffalo.
Besides her bridal-consulting work, Mrs. Coley volunteered at the Tuck Shop at Douglas Memorial Hospital in Fort Erie, Ont., and earlier at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital. Family members said she enjoyed watching her husband coach youth hockey, placing a friendly wager on a football game with her son-in-law, playing bridge with her friends and working in her garden. Decades ago, she also became a second mother to many of her five children’s young friends, including a lot of Shamrock hockey players.
Her husband of 53 years died in 1998.
Surviving are two daughters, Susan E. Gaylord and Ann B. Unsworth; two sons, Richard T. and Mark W.; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in Forest Lawn Chapel.