Myra Critelli Capizzi, founder and director of Mar Jon School of Beauty Culture at 1154 Niagara Falls Blvd. in the Town of Tonawanda, over the years became known to more than 10,000 students as "The Diva" and "Fingerwave Queen." She died Tuesday in her North Tonawanda home after a brief illness. She was 77.
She was born in Calabria, Italy, and came to the United States as an infant with her parents.
Mrs. Capizzi was a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and Roberts School of Beauty. She taught at three beauty schools in Buffalo and owned five hair salons before opening the Mar Jon School in 1972.
She continued to work at least twice a week until her death. Her teaching abilities included being able to show students how to use their fingers to make waves.
A daughter, Gracine Lewis, also a teacher at the Mar John School, said, "She could show people how to do fingerwaves in 10 minutes that otherwise would take hours to learn."
Survivors also include two sons, Charles and Joel; a brother, Benjamin Critelli; and her companion, Richard Magro.
A service will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.