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OCT. 25, 1939 -- NOV. 19, 2004

Services will be held today for Barbara E. Richards Gaal, 65, a former driving instructor in Niagara Falls. She died Friday in her Cheektowaga home after a brief illness, during which she received the care of Hospice Buffalo.

Mrs. Richards Gaal, known by the nickname "Babett," was born Barbara Richards in Rush, Pa. Her family moved to Youngstown when she was a child, and she attended schools in the Lewiston-Porter district.

For 20 years, she was the director and chief instructor at Niagara Driving School in Niagara Falls, where she worked with her future husband Carl W.J.

She enjoyed collecting lighthouse figurines.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a daughter, Michelle Shine of Niagara Falls; a stepson, Curt N. Gaal of Canonsburg, Pa.; a stepdaughter, Tracy D. Wilcox of the Town of Tonawanda; a sister, Rita Donovan of Niagara Falls; two brothers, Alan Richards of Ransomville and Frank Richards of Colorado; and 10 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 8:30 p.m. today in M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel, 2730 Military Road, Town of Niagara. Burial will be in Niagara Falls Memorial Park Cemetery, Lewiston.


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