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Carol M. Coppola, Red Cross director, educator; Dec. 4, 1943 -- May 11, 2012

Carol M. Coppola, American Red Cross director, English teacher and wife of former Buffalo Common Council member and State Sen. Alfred T. Coppola, died Friday in her Buffalo home. She was 68.

Born Carol Grabski in Buffalo, she graduated from South Park High School and earned a master's degree in education at Buffalo State College.

She worked as a director at the American Red Cross for 10 years and was director of continuing education at D'Youville College for 10 years. She also taught eighth-grade English for 10 years at International School 45 in Buffalo..

For more than 25 years, Mrs. Coppola helped run her husband's successful campaigns for the Common Council and State Senate.

She also was a gourmet chef and enjoyed preparing healthy meals for family and friends.

Family members described her as a leader, generous and kind -- accepting of all people.

Mrs. Coppola, who battled cancer, and a granddaughter, Sami, donated $9,275 to cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute last Tuesday.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Shane; and two daughters, Courtney Kessler and Kierstin DeCicco.

Services were held Saturday.