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Nicoletta D. Sebastiano, 103, longtime teacher

March 21, 1912 – Dec. 15, 2015

Nicoletta D. Sebastiano, a longtime teacher who was active in community organizations, died Dec. 15 in Vinecroft Retirement Community, Clarence Center, where she had lived for 10 years. She was 103.

Born in Buffalo, the former Nicoletta Duke was the oldest of five children and grew up in the Section House near the old Lehigh Valley Railroad station in Williamsville, where her father was foreman.

Known as Nicky, she was the valedictorian of the Class of 1930 at Williamsville High School, attended Buffalo State Teachers College and graduated from Bryant & Stratton Business Institute. Before her marriage, she was office manager for L. N. Whissel Lumber Co., Williamsville.

The mother of four was a longtime Cheektowaga resident and a life member of Cleveland Hill School PTA. She also was a Girl Scout leader, social secretary for the Cheektowaga Senior Center and an active member of Christ United Methodist Church. She also was a neighborhood representative for several charity fund drives.

After raising her children, Mrs. Sebastiano began her teaching career at Kensington Business Institute and taught evening adult education classes at local high schools. When she was 57, she became primary teacher, corporate secretary and co-owner of Kensington and Kelly Business Institutes with her late brother, Amedeo Duke. She taught for 22 years, retiring at the age of 79.

In 1998, she received the Coordinated Care Prime Time Award, which honors seniors for volunteering and community service.

Her husband of 41 years, James V., died in 1979.

Survivors include three daughters, Mary Ball, Anita Blasiak and Nancy Insalaco; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. next Saturday in Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, Snyder.

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