May 26, 1921 – Feb. 27, 2015
Ferol A. Webb, a retired registered nurse, a longtime docent at the Buffalo Zoo and town historian for West Seneca, died Friday at her Gardenville home. She was 93.
The former Ferol Grabenstatter was a lifelong resident of Gardenville and a 1939 graduate of the former Gardenville High School. She also was a 1942 graduate of the Buffalo General School of Nursing.
Mrs. Webb became a docent at the zoo in 1974. During her service, she conducted guided tours and presided over the Zoomobile, Zoo Camp and hosted birthday parties at the zoo. She also took zoo animals for patients to enjoy at Women & Children’s Hospital.
In 1979, she was the first docent to receive the zoo’s Outstanding Service Award, and was a recipient of the Cecilia Evans Taylor Award in 1986 for service to the zoo. From 1987 to 1989, she was president of the zoo’s docent organization.
Mrs. Webb also trained docents and attended the National Docent Symposiums as a representative of the Buffalo Zoo. In 1990, she served as a surrogate mother to B.K., the first gorilla ever born at the zoo. She also was responsible for taking Kent and Lena, the zoo’s baby orangutans, for walks.
In 2013, Mrs. Webb retired to emeritus status at age 92. She was both the longest-serving and the oldest docent at the zoo.
From 1997 to 2010, Mrs. Webb served as West Seneca town historian. She hosted trolley tours throughout the community for students and teachers and also was a guest speaker at many local organizations.
Mrs. Webb served as chief election inspector in Gardenville for more than 40 years and was a member of the Republican Club in West Seneca. In 1981, she was invited by then-Rep. Jack F. Kemp, R-Hamburg, to attend the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan.
She had served on both the town’s Continuing Education Advisory Committee and its environmental commission since 1990. From 2004 to 2010, Mrs. Webb served as a gallery greeter at the Burchfield Nature & Art Center in West Seneca. She also served the Girl Scouts of Western New York as neighborhood chairman in the West Seneca North area from the mid 1960s through the mid-1970s.
Her husband of 66 years, Kenneth N. Webb Sr., died in 2009.
Surviving are two daughters, Mary Webb Earsing and Jane F. Haley; a son, Kenneth Jr.; a brother, Harry Grabenstatter; and two grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday in Fourteen Holy Helpers Catholic Church, 1350 Indian Church Road, West Seneca.