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Joanna M. ‘Kim’ Mehnert, teacher, school administrator grew award-winning roses

July 21, 1949 – Jan. 20, 2016

Joanna M. “Kim” Mehnert of Williamsville and Oceanside, Calif., a teacher and school administrator, died Wednesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. She was 66.

Born in Katowice, Poland, the former Joanna Aleksa came to the Buffalo area in 1961. She was a graduate of Bishop Colton High School and the University at Buffalo.

Mrs. Mehnert was a substitute teacher at various schools for several years, then took a full-time position in the early 1990s at SS. Peter & Paul School in Williamsville, where she was a teacher and vice principal.

She retired in 2009.

Active in the Western New York Rose Society, she began growing roses in the early 1990s.

A consulting rosarian and a judge at flower shows, she won numerous American Rose Society awards.

“Tending roses is relaxing,” she told an interviewer in 2002, “and very therapeutic. My rose garden extends from the backyard to the front where it runs down both sides of the walk. You’d be surprised how many people stop in spontaneously.”

Survivors include her husband of 42 years, Karl J.; a daughter, Maria E. Williams; a son, Robert K.; two sisters, Teresa Hendricks and Mary Nelson; a brother, Andrew Aleksa; and three grandchildren.

Services will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Barron Miller Funeral Home, 3025 William St., Cheektowaga.

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