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Sophie M. Mendel, longtime cook <br> March 7, 1921 -- March 11, 2006

Sophie M. "Sally" Mendel, a retired cook, died Saturday in her Buffalo home after a long illness. She was 85.

She was born Sophie Dera in Buffalo and was a graduate of School 44 and East High School. She later took culinary arts, horticulture and cosmetology courses at several schools.

She spent 40 years working as a cook at Rosary Hill College, the Carlton House and various businesses before retiring in 1980.

She was a member of the Mothers Club and enjoyed cooking, baking, traveling and entertaining.

Her husband, Walter, died in 1961.

Survivors include a son, Walter R. of Depew; two sisters, Eleanore Durawa of Buffalo and Irene Dojka of Cheektowaga; two brothers, Richard Dera and Edward Dera, both of Buffalo; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered today in St. Joseph Cathedral after prayers in Pacer Funeral Home, Depew. Burial was in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

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