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Annette Gawronski, developmental center retiree; Feb. 1, 1930 -- Dec. 17, 2011

Annette Gawronski, a longtime staff member at the West Seneca Developmental Center, died Saturday in Washington Adventist Hospital, Takoma Park, Md. She was 81.

Born in Buffalo, Miss Gawronski was a graduate of Kensington High School and Alabama College. Before earning her master's degree in social work from the University of Buffalo, she worked with youth in the Buffalo Department of Parks and Recreation.

She worked for Catholic Charities, then went to the West Seneca Developmental Center. She was honored as employee of the year in 1987 and retired as a team leader in 1991.

In retirement, she was active as a volunteer at Erie County Medical Center, where she served on the Volunteer Board. She also served on the board of the Rochester-based DePaul organization, which provides housing and services for those in need.

She loved animals, nature, the arts and the Buffalo Bills, and was a generous contributor to animal welfare organizations.

Recently, she was a resident of Malta House senior assisted living in Hyattsville, Md.

Surviving is a sister, Mary.

Interment in Buffalo will be private.