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Inez P. Alston, 92, reading teacher, active in the community

Aug. 7, 1922 – Aug. 17, 2014

Inez P. Alston, of Buffalo, a longtime reading teacher in Jamestown schools, died Sunday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. She was 92.

Born Inez Pickens in Greensboro, N.C., she was a child when her family moved to Buffalo. She graduated with honors from Fosdick-Masten Park High School in 1940.

She married Leondras Alston the following year, and they moved to Jamestown. Despite her roles as wife and mother of three, Mrs. Alston continued her education. Between 1957 and 1968, she earned an associate degree from Jamestown Community College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Fredonia State College.

Mrs. Alston worked as a reading teacher in Jamestown schools for more than 38 years. She received the Jamestown Teachers Association Community Action Award in 1983 – the same year she received her certificate of advanced studies degree from Fredonia State.

Known as “Nana,” Mrs. Alston was a member of Blackwell Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Jamestown for more than 60 years. She served in numerous capacities and was nominated as Mother of the Year and Lay Person of the Year.

After moving back to Buffalo in August 2013, she was accepted as a church mother at Mount Zion Church of God Holiness.

Mrs. Alston loved butterflies and was given the nickname “Madame Butterfly” for her butterfly accessories, artwork and collectibles.

Throughout her life, she was active in many civic, social and church organizations, and was named a Woman of Distinction by the State Senate in 1998.

Her husband died in 1986.

Survivors include two sons, Leondras J. and Mel L.; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A homegoing service will be at noon today in Mount Zion Church of God Holiness, 32 Oakgrove Ave.