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Samuel S. Taneff, 87, retired school administrator

July 17, 1931 – Jan. 26, 2019

Samuel S. Taneff, of Orchard Park, a retired school administrator, died Jan. 26 in Mercy Hospital after a brief illness. He was 87.

Born in Lackawanna, he was a 1949 graduate of Lackawanna High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving stateside during the Korean War.

Returning from service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and education from SUNY Buffalo State. He began his career as a geometry teacher at Frontier High School, where his wife of 54 years, the former Teresa Leitten, also was a faculty member.

While working on a master’s degree in administration at Canisius College, he became a guidance counselor at Hamburg Junior High School in 1961 and served as a counselor at Hamburg High School. He was appointed assistant principal at Hamburg Junior High School in 1965 and became vocational principal at what was then Erie 1 BOCES Potter Road Occupational Center in West Seneca in 1968.

In 1974, Mr. Taneff was named vocational principal and director of support services at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo, where he expanded vocational training.

He went to Erie 2 BOCES in 1980 as vocational principal at both the Carrier Center at Lake Shore Central High School and at the Ormsby Center in East Aurora, where he helped develop new programs. He retired in 1991.

In retirement, he enjoyed golf, doing household repairs and working in his yard.

In addition to his wife, who taught for many years at Immaculata Academy, survivors include a son, Dr. John; a daughter, Sarah Benhatzel; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Feb. 2 in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 66 E. Main St., Hamburg.

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