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Kathleen B. Franczyk, educator and volunteer; Feb. 12, 1947 -- June 23, 2011

Kathleen B. Franczyk, a kindergarten teacher and lifelong volunteer, died Thursday at Erie County Medical Center after a yearlong battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. She was 64.

Born Kathleen Marian Burns in Washington, D.C., she attended Sacred Heart Academy and Villa Maria College, and earned a bachelor's degree in education and teaching certification from Medaille College.

After raising six children, Mrs. Franczyk, a Buffalo resident, worked as a kindergarten teacher at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic School in Cheektowaga for 20 years, until the school closed its doors. She also was a longtime member of St. Aloysius Church in Cheektowaga, serving as a member of the church choir, a Eucharistic minister and lector.

Mrs. Franczyk was a regular blood donor with the American Red Cross. She also spent many years volunteering in the community for the March of Dimes as well as with the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, where her husband was the fiscal officer.

In 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Franczyk were recognized by Buffalo PAL with the Dedication and Service to Youth Award.

She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Thomas; four daughters, Nora Weil, Maribeth Fisher, Leanne Puccio and Patrice Smith; and two sons, John and Mark.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church, 157 Cleveland Drive in Cheektowaga.