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Mary DiNatale, 102, pioneering factory worker

Oct. 19, 1912 – Nov. 9, 2014

Mary DiNatale, of Buffalo, a pioneering woman factory worker, died Nov. 9 in ElderWood Village at Glenwood, Williamsville, after a short illness. She was 102.

Born in Lafferty, Ohio, the former Mary Pelligrino moved to Buffalo at age 15, working as a laundress and sending money to her family in Ohio. Two years later, she was promoted to manager of the laundry, a position rarely given to a woman so young at the time.

After several years as a mother and homemaker, she took a job during World War II at Curtiss-Wright as a production worker.

When the war was over, she successfully applied for a man’s job on the production line at the General Motors plant on East Delavan Avenue, working there until she was 65.

Mrs. DiNatale enjoyed traveling, especially to Florida and with her senior citizens group. She was a flower gardener and made framed floral arrangements from pressed flowers.

Her husband of 65 years, Domenico, died in 1995.

She is survived by a sister, Norma Mortellaro; two granddaughters; and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

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