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Anita L. Bonn, 95, pioneering Buffalo teacher

March 4, 1919 – Aug. 5, 2014

Anita Lindner Bonn, a retired Buffalo public school teacher known for educating children as well as parents, died Tuesday in her Buffalo home after a long illness. She was 95.

A Buffalo native, Mrs. Bonn was a pioneer in teaching human development and sex education, and was the first to help introduce Parent Effectiveness Training in Buffalo.

She was a graduate of D’Youville College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

A preschool teacher for the Early Push program in Buffalo Public Schools for two decades, she expanded her reach to include sex education at the high school level at Bishop McMahon High School and Holy Angels Academy.

A supporter of family-based interventions and an early feminist, Mrs. Bonn traveled to Washington, D.C., to be trained and certified in Parent Effectiveness Training and was the first to bring the program techniques to Western New York.

She also collaborated with Buffalo State College to pioneer the Every Person Influences Children Program, EPIC.

She and her late husband, Clifford, were the first couple to initiate the Marriage Encounter Program in Buffalo.

An 85-year member of St. Mark Catholic Church, Mrs. Bonn was a former officer of the Guild and spearheaded the Parish Neighbor’s Outreach Program in the 1980s. She contributed to the Bishop’s Committee for the Diocese of Buffalo, writing pamphlets on child care from birth to 5 years.

She was a former member of the board of directors for Our Lady of Victory Infant Home and was an active member of the Seton Guild at Sheehan Hospital for more than 20 years.

Mrs. Bonn is survived by four daughters, Christine Cotter, Claudia, Lisa and Tracy Cercone; two sons, Christopher and Nicholas; and 13 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Mark Church, 401 Woodward Ave.