Betty Mendola of Buffalo, whose many jobs included costume design, died Wednesday in Riverwood Nursing Home, Grand Island, after a lengthy illness. She was 81.
Born Betty Beeman in Buffalo, Mrs. Mendola cut short her education at Hutchinson-Central High School to help support her family.
She found work as a branch manager for Danahay-Faxon stores during World War II, then later used her natural talents for dress-making and sewing as a costume designer for Howland Costume Co. She outfitted many Halloween revelers and local theatrical productions.
Mrs. Mendola also worked for Dow & Co., a construction equipment distributor, before combining her hobby of square-dancing and her sewing skills for a square-dance supply business in her home.
A volunteer for the SPCA, Mrs. Mendola made many dolls, sweaters and quilts for fund-raising efforts, and helped out in the shelter's store.
Her final years were spent caring for her daughter, Sharon, who died of multiple sclerosis in 2002.
Her husband, Peter, died in 1977.
Survivors include a daughter, Nancy Haug of Amherst; a son, James of Buffalo; and three grandchildren.
Services will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday in Dengler & Roberts Funeral Home, 3000 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.