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Florence Lewis, retired physical therapy aide

March 18, 1929 – April 20, 2016

Florence Lewis of Buffalo, a physical therapy aide who helped hundreds of patients to restore their mobility and improve their quality of life during her nearly 30-year career in health care at Sisters Hospital, died Wednesday in St. Catherine Laboure Health Care Center after a short illness. She was 87.

A native of Selma, Ala., the former Florence Wilson graduated from Holy Family School there and she moved to Buffalo in 1948.

Hoping to become a registered nurse, Mrs. Lewis completed several advancement courses including the Red Cross cardiopulmonary course, a medical self-help training program and various clerical training classes in the Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Program.

She was honored as the employee of the month for May 1979 in the Physical Therapy Department at Sisters Hospital for giving “many years of dedicated and faithful service.”

She worked as a medical nurse’s aide and was a ward secretary for several years before she transferred to the Physical Therapy Department, where she was promoted and trained as the department’s first physical therapy aide in 1974.

“Many times, she sits and comforts the patients that are in pain, frightened or confused,” a co-worker wrote in her citation.

Mrs. Lewis retired in 1991.

She was a member of Friendship Baptist Church and its General Mission Society. She also was a volunteer at the Central City Cafe, which gave her a certificate of appreciation and Service Achievement Award in October 1989.

Her husband, William, died in 2009.

Survivors include a daughter, M. Linda; a son, Anthony; a brother, Albert J. Wilson; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at noon Wednesday in Friendship Baptist Church, 402 Clinton St., following visitation there at 11 a.m.

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