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Betty Lou Loucks, 90, teacher who created school district program for gifted students

March 25, 1928 – Dec. 16, 2018

Betty Lou Loucks, of West Seneca, a retired teacher who created a school district program for high-achieving students, died Dec. 16 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a brief illness. She was 90.

Born in Salamanca, the former Betty Lou Morton was a graduate of Salamanca High School and attended Buffalo State Teachers College for a year before returning home to marry Lester D. Loucks in 1947.

Moving to Wellsville six years later, she was a Cub Scout den mother for 10 years and chaired the Fresh Air Fund in Wellsville for 25 years. At the Christian Temple, she was president of the congregation and directed youth activities such as liturgists, youth drama and trips to New York City.

After raising six children, she returned to college and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SUNY Geneseo.

Mrs. Loucks taught sixth grade at Wellsville Middle School for six years, then was assigned to develop the Gateway program for gifted and talented students in the Wellsville schools. She directed it for 15 years. She was instrumental in getting Wellsville students into the Olympics of the Mind (Odyssey of the Mind) competition.

After retiring in 1990, she and her husband moved to Amherst and enjoyed attending cultural performances. They moved to West Seneca in 2004.

She was president of the Buffalo Branch, American Association of University Women, and president of the College Club of Buffalo, where she remained active until her death. She also was active in the Breakfast by the Book book club.

Her husband, a retired manager at Air Preheater Co. and a former Wellsville town supervisor, died May 26.

Survivors include a daughter, Pamela McNey; four sons, Douglas, Terry, Christopher and Brian; a brother, Calvin “Bud” Morton; 13 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

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