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JULY 28, 1906 -- APRIL 11, 2005

Thelma C. Campbell, 98, of the Town of Tonawanda, who began working as a legal secretary during the presidency of Warren G. Harding, died Monday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda, after an unexpected illness.

She had worked for Flaherty & Shea for 25 years, most recently on a part-time basis.

"I hired Thelma three years after she retired at age 70, and I wound up being her longest employer," Michael J. Flaherty said. "She drove herself to work, right up to March 31.

Born Thelma Dechand in Buffalo, she graduated from Hurst's Private Secretarial School in 1921 at age 15 and immediately was hired by the firm Harding & Harding. She later worked for Phillips Lytle.

Mrs. Campbell started studying piano at age 10. During last year's President's Ball of the Erie County Bar Association, she played an impromptu rendition of "On the Sunny Side of the Street."

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 263 Claremont Ave., Town of Tonawanda. Entombment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.


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