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Mary Anne Van Dyke, 76, elementary school teacher, volunteer

Oct. 11, 1942 – Nov. 13, 2018

Mary Anne Van Dyke, of Amherst, a retired elementary school teacher and active volunteer, died Nov. 13 in Mercy Hospital after a short illness. She was 76.

Born in Buffalo, she was a 1960 graduate of Holy Angels Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from D’Youville College.

She taught first and second grade at Maryvale East Elementary School in Cheektowaga from 1964 to 1967, then worked in sales for L.M. Berry, Ailing and Cory and WKBW radio before deciding to return to the classroom.

“She just loved children,” said her brother, James Van Dyke. “She really wanted to be with children.”

She completed a master’s degree in counselor education at Canisius College, then began teaching again in 1998. After a year at Buffalo School 68, she taught fourth grade at Buffalo School 43 from 1999 to 2008.

For the past six years, she was a school crossing guard in Amherst, most recently near St. Benedict’s School at Main Street and Eggert Road.

She was a polling place worker during elections and was a monitor for civil service exams.

She volunteered weekly as a reader for the blind for the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service, delivered food for the Food Shuttle of Western New York and was an usher at Shea’s 710 Theatre and the former Studio Arena Theatre.

An avid gardener, she was a volunteer for several years with the Buffalo Garden Walk.

She was active in the Amherst Senior Center, where she attended sessions for line dancing, calligraphy and a book club.

She attended St. Benedict’s Catholic Church and St. Joseph University Catholic Church. She was a member of the Canisius College Sodality of the Annunciation.

Survivors include a daughter, Suzanne Zalewski; and another brother, Thomas Van Dyke.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at noon Jan. 12 in St. Joseph University Church, 3269 Main St.

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