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Shirleyann VanDette, music teacher in area schools

June 4, 1930 – Jan. 19, 2016

Shirleyann VanDette of North Tonawanda, a music teacher and matriarch of a musical family, died last Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital. She was 85.

Born in Two Rivers, Wis., the former Shirleyann Mixa was a graduate of Wisconsin State Teachers College in Madison. She came to the Buffalo area shortly after she was married in the 1950s.

After raising her family, Mrs. VanDette was a music teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas School, St. Mary’s School in Swormville and in the Williamsville schools. She retired in the early 1990s.

Her husband, Raymond VanDette, who died in 2012, was a music teacher in the Sweet Home School District. One of her sons, Roger, is a music teacher at Starpoint Central High School. Her daughter, Marie, is a retired music teacher. Another son, Andy, is a mastering engineer with a recording studio in Manhattan.

For many years, Mrs. VanDette directed a recorder ensemble that played concerts in many venues. A resident of Woodlands Senior Apartments, she led sing-alongs and exercise classes and edited the newsletter.

In addition to her daughter and sons, survivors include another son, the Rev. Eugene; and four grandchildren.

Services were held Saturday in Lombardo Funeral Home, 899 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

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