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Winona C. Stonebraker, 83, high school guidance counselor

Aug. 31, 1934 – Dec. 28, 2017

Winona C. Stonebraker, of North Tonawanda, a retired high school guidance counselor, died Dec. 28 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. She was 83.

The former Winona Smith was born in Penn Yan and moved to Buffalo with her family in the early 1940s. She was a 1952 graduate of Riverside High School.

She earned a teaching degree from Buffalo State Teachers College, then taught home economics at Lafayette High School and Riverside High School, where she was forced to leave because she was expecting her first child.

She worked part-time at Kresge’s, then completed a master’s degree in counseling at the University at Buffalo. In 1963, she became a guidance counselor at North Tonawanda High School, where she had served her counseling practicum.

Mrs. Stonebraker was faculty adviser for the American Field Service student exchange program. She oversaw the annual AFS fundraising carnival at the school and hosted students from Venezuela and Japan in her home.

For several years, she also worked with a program that helped pregnant girls complete their high school education. She retired in 1994.

Her former students gave tribute to her on her memorial pages.

“I owe her for my career,” one of them wrote. “She supported me for picking my career of a hair stylist, then became a client.”

She was active on the local and district levels with the United Methodist Women and, in retirement, with the Methodist Older Adult Ministries, often as a speaker at conferences and special events.

She also volunteered for many years with the women’s auxiliary at Beechwood Homes.

Her husband of 61 years, James, a retired bus driver, died in May 2017.

Survivors include a son, Craig; a daughter, Debra Smith; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services were held Saturday in First United Methodist Church, 65 Main St., North Tonawanda.

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