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Antoinette O. Lafornara, first reading teacher in Buffalo Schools

May 9, 1915 – Nov. 4, 2016

Antoinette Lafornara ObitAntoinette O. Lafornara, the first reading teacher in the Buffalo Schools, died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. She was 101.

Born in Buffalo, the former Antoinette Oglialoro was the sixth of eight daughters of immigrant parents. She was a graduate of Lafayette High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1937 from Buffalo State Teachers College.

After graduation, she was offered a teaching position under the condition that she change her last name. Proud of her Italian heritage, she refused. Instead, she began her career teaching English to immigrants in night school.

Mrs. Lafornara spent most of her career at Buffalo School 8 and was the district’s first reading specialist. She also helped design the first early childhood programs in the schools. At the end of her career, she was a helping teacher, assisting other teachers in adopting new classroom methods. She retired in 1975.

A longtime resident of Williamsville, in retirement she was a founding member and treasurer of the Senior Citizen Organization at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, using her new computer to keep records.

In addition to her activities on the computer, she enjoyed cooking and baking for family and friends.

Her husband, Philip A., a Buffalo school principal, died in 1985. One of her sons, Paul, also became a Buffalo school principal.

Survivors include two sons, Joseph P. and Paul A.; a daughter, Diane M. Alessandra; seven grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.

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