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Lois L. Kohler, 100, ran West Seneca candy shop

Aug. 11, 1916 – Feb. 7, 2017

Lois L. Kohler, who operated a delicatessen and candy shop with her husband in West Seneca for many years, died Feb. 7 in Absolut Care of Aurora Park, East Aurora. She was 100.

Born Lois Gill in an apartment above her parents’ store in Buffalo’s Seneca-Babcock neighborhood, she moved at the age of 4 to West Seneca, where her family opened a shop known for its homemade candy on the corner of Dirksen and Seneca streets.

A 1933 graduate of West Seneca High School, she was salutatorian of her class but had to abandon plans to go to Buffalo State Teachers College after her parents lost their store in the Depression.

Her parents went on to operate other stores, the last being Gill’s Delicatessen at 2852 Seneca St. Mrs. Kohler and her husband bought the business after her father died in 1949 and operated it until they retired in 1989.

In 1959, her husband Norman started making chocolate candy from the molds her father used. It became so popular they renamed the store Kohler Candies.

Mrs. Kohler was the pianist and organist for Calvary Methodist Church for many years. More recently, she was active in Seneca United Methodist Church. She was a member of the Happy Crafters and United Methodist Women.

Her husband of 58 years died in 1994.

Survivors include two sons, Dennis and Brian; three grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in New Hope United Methodist Church, 2846 Seneca St., West Seneca.

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