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Mary F. Hormell, Brothers of Mercy administrator

Sept. 26, 1927 – March 5, 2015

A trailblazer at Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clarence, Mary F. Hormell began a second career there later in life and rose to the position of human resources administrator.

Mrs. Hormell, a Clarence resident, was one of the first women to be hired at the Brothers’ campus, starting in a part-time support job and proving herself so valuable that when an Employee of the Year Award was instituted in 1984, she was selected as its first recipient. She worked there for almost 30 years, retiring in 1998.

In her final weeks, the former Mary Frances Didley returned to Brothers as a patient in the hospice unit, where her loved ones said she was “blessed by the care” of a staff that held her in high esteem. She died March 5 following a short illness. She was 87.

Her professional life, family members said, was part of a much bigger life that included being the mother of two sets of twins, a tireless supporter of Buffalo, her hometown; an avid Buffalo Bills fan and an accomplished baker and seamstress.

She liked to point out to people that she was born the same year the Peace Bridge opened, in 1927.

After marrying in 1954 to Harry R. Hormell, who was in the homebuilding industry, Mrs. Hormell left her job as an executive secretary at Bell Aircraft in Cheektowaga and embraced raising her children and later becoming a fixture in the lives of her eight grandchildren.

“She was referred to as ‘Nana’ by a wide circle of neighbors and friends and known for cheering on her grandchildren in all their endeavors,” said Deborah Hormell Ward, her oldest daughter.

Mrs. Hormell was also a member of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Clarence.

Besides her daughter Deborah and her grandchildren, she is survived by her sons, David and Peter, and her younger daughter, Patricia Hormell-Brinkman; a sister, Joan Leitten; and a nephew, Mark Leitten .

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Peace, 10950 Main St., Clarence.

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