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Elisabeth W. Braithwaite, 101, started scout troop; Feb. 9, 1911 -- Feb. 21, 2012

Elisabeth W. Braithwaite of West Falls, an active church member who helped start the first Girl Scout troop in her community, died Tuesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. She was 101.

The former Elisabeth Williams was born in New York City, where she earned a bachelor's degree from Hunter College in 1934. She worked as a receptionist at Presbyterian Hospital.

She married Shirley W. Braithwaite Jr. in April 1936, and the couple moved to Kenmore in 1940, then to West Falls in 1941.

Mrs. Braithwaite helped start the first Girl Scout troop in West Falls, Troop 483, in 1948, and served as scout leader for more than 30 years.

She was active in St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Orchard Park, where she was a lay reader, licensed chalice bearer, Eucharistic minister, member of the Altar Guild, treasurer of the Sunday school, as well as a teacher in the vacation Bible school and Sunday school.

Mrs. Braithwaite was a member of the first graduating class of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York's Education for Ministry program.

She was a life member of the Order of Eastern Star, past matron of the order's Cazenovia Chapter and past president of St. David's Welsh Society.

Mrs. Braithwaite learned how to swim in her 60s, to cross-country ski at age 66, and took lessons in Welsh and how to play the recorder when she was in her 70s.

She also sewed her daughter's wedding gown, as well as the maid of honor's dress and her own dress for the wedding.

Her husband died in 1986.

She is survived by two daughters, Elisabeth Langford and Ruth Graesser.

A memorial service was held Saturday in St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

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