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Rosemary Smith Marlette, 95, first woman to serve on Nichols Board of Trustees

March 5, 1923 – July 13, 2018

Rosemary Smith Marlette, the first woman to serve on the Nichols School Board of Trustees and the first woman to chair the board of the AAA of Western and Central New York, died July 13. She was 95.

Born Rosemary Smith in Buffalo, the daughter of prominent trial lawyer Clayton M. Smith, she attended the Elmwood School and was a 1941 graduate of the Buffalo Seminary. She went on to study voice at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.

Throughout her life, she spent summers in her family’s seasonal home in Bertie Bay, Ont. It was on the Canadian shore that she met her husband, John E. “Jack” Marlette, at the age of 19 at the Canoe Club Shipwreck Dance.

After they were married in 1946, they lived in New Hampshire while Mr. Marlette completed his studies at Dartmouth College. Mrs. Marlette taught in a one-room schoolhouse in nearby Vermont. Returning to Buffalo in 1948, she taught at the Community Music School.

The mother of six children, Mrs. Marlette was active for many years in the Junior League of Buffalo, the Buffalo General Hospital Junior Board and the Community Music School.

She also served on the boards of the Buffalo Seminary and Daemen College.

Beginning at the age of 71, she was a weekly volunteer for 20 years in the hospitality room at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Nichols School presented her with its Honorary Alumna Award in 2015.

A Buffalo resident, she swam, played golf and tennis and walked 2 miles every day in the Elmwood Village. She also enjoyed playing bridge weekly with friends at the Garret Club.

According to her family, she loved to share Buffalo history with family and friends. In her mind, all roads led through Buffalo, where the weather was always perfect.

Her husband, president of the Buffalo Bumper Exchange and vice president of Marlette Plating Co., died in 1971. She also was predeceased by a daughter, Rosemary, in 1958.

Survivors include four daughters, Catherine M. Waddell, Suzanne M. Sears, Tricia M. Nalle and Mary M. Smith; a son, John E. Jr.; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 23 in the Garret Club, 91 Cleveland Ave.

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