Aug. 15, 1924 – Feb. 13, 2019
When newlywed Anne Kinney Offermann was interviewed for a job managing speech pathology programs throughout Baltimore County, Md., the interviewer asked if she could drive.
She replied, "Of course."
She got the job. Then, said her daughter Barbara Offermann Townsend, "She went home and said to my father, 'I've got to learn to drive this weekend.' "
Her mother did learn to drive and held the job as lead teacher/coordinator for the Baltimore County special ed program, coordinating groundbreaking speech therapy classes, until the family returned to Western New York in 1951.
Mrs. Offermann died on Feb. 13, 2019, at age 94 after a period of declining health.
She was "very independent and a true 'modern' woman," her daughter said. "She was just amazing, she just did so much and was really smart and very science-oriented."
She was born in Buffalo on Aug. 15, 1924, the first child of Dr. James P. Kinney and Ethel (Stabel) Kinney, a registered nurse. Her father was chief of staff at Sisters Hospital in the 1940s.
Mrs. Offermann was a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Amherst High School, in the class of 1941.
After three years at D'Youville College, she graduated in 1944 with a bachelor's degree in science. With friends, she then took a bus to Mexico City, where she enrolled in classes at the University of Mexico. She had studied Spanish in college and had an affinity for the culture, her daughter said.
Back in Western New York, Mrs. Offermann earned a master's degree in special education with a concentration in speech pathology from the University at Buffalo in 1946.
On a blind date, she met Frank J. Offermann Jr., whose father had owned the Buffalo Bisons until his death in 1935. The team's stadium at East Ferry Street and Michigan Avenue was later renamed Offermann Stadium.
On July 23, 1949, the pair married in St. Joseph's University, where she had been baptized, had her First Communion and been confirmed, her daughter said.
They moved to Baltimore while he attended Georgetown Law School, but returned and settled in Eggertsville in 1951. Mrs. Offermann taught full time at St. Mary's School for the Deaf until they started their family. She returned to work part time for several years after her children started school.
In 1960, they moved into a house on Beard Avenue where she lived the rest of her life.
The Offermanns enjoyed meeting travelers through World Hospitality, a national group that connected businessmen and businesswomen across the world for cultural exchanges. Mrs. Offermann enjoyed traveling well into her 80s. She and her husband took frequent ElderHostel trips, Barbara Offermann Townsend said.
Her daughter described Mrs. Offermann as "a lifelong yoga enthusiast," beginning in the late 1960s. She taught yoga classes at senior centers and at Bristol Homes in Buffalo.
She was a lifelong member of the Great Books Foundation.
Mrs. Offermann was a member of the Buffalo Garden Club from its inception. She planted some 3,000 spring daffodils at her home and received many citations from Buffalo in Bloom.
She belonged to the Buffalo Skating Club and the Buffalo Ski Club. She and her husband coordinated a Canisius High School spring break trip to Cervinia, Italy, in the 1970s.
Mr. Offermann died on July 18, 2013, after 63 years of marriage.
Besides her daughter, Mrs. Offermann is survived by two sons, Francis "Bud" J. III and Geoffrey J.; her sisters, Jane K. Svejkar and Kathleen K. Illig; five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in June at St. Joseph's University Church, 3269 Main St.