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Mary R. Colao, worked for family’s businesses in Niagara Falls

July 25, 1927 – May 31, 2015

Mary R. Colao of Niagara Falls, who worked in several family businesses, died Sunday at Schoellkopf Health Care Facility in Niagara Falls. She was 87.

Born in Niagara Falls, the former Mary Balassone was a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls and attended local schools. She was a stay-at-home mom, who later began working in the family businesses at Henry’s Hamburgers, Doktor Hair and Ciao Hair Salon, where she was affectionately known as “Aunt Mary.”

She enjoyed walking, spending time with family and often attended local jazz clubs with friends for dinner and dancing. She was often told that she bore a strong resemblance to Susan Hayward and was always complimented on her red hair.

She is survived by a son, Carmen A.; a daughter, Kathryn Caldarella; two sisters, Ann Beccari and Norma Colao; two brothers, Brother Gabriel “Frank” Balassone and Dominic Balassone; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and her companion of 32 years, John Gawel.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Saturday at Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Parish at St. Joseph’s Church, 1413 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.

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