Dec. 5, 1953 – March 7, 2019
Ann Grace Oppedisano Moore, a retired teacher whose sunny personality earned her the nickname "Smiling Annie" even while she faced considerable health challenges, died Thursday, March 7, while under the care of Buffalo Hospice. She was 66.
Mrs. Moore grew up in Honeoye Falls, the daughter of Vincent and Antoinette Oppedisano. She worked at her father's shoe store, Oppedisano's Bootery, in high school.
She met her husband, Richard, during their senior year at Niagara University while taking a philosophy class that was considered an easy A. "She got a B and I got a C because we spent the whole class talking to each other," he recalled. They were married July 19, 1975.
Mrs. Moore began her career in 1975 teaching eighth grade at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Niagara Falls. She went on to teach global studies at Niagara Wheatfield High School where she stayed for more than 20 years.
A school newsletter article headlined "A Favorite Falcon retires" in 2015 included quotes from students, including one who said, "I won't forget Mrs. Moore's dedication. She never gave up on me." Known for her humor in the classroom, the article noted her "booming laughter." A senior recalled: "Even if she was yelling at me, she would laugh before the period was over." Another student wrote a tribute recalling her kindness: "She told me not to worry about being short – it doesn't define who you are. Mrs. Moore has always been my safety net. She always had my back. She is my 'school Mom.' "
Mrs. Moore was a fine cook, whether she was making chicken soup, homemade lasagna or pizzelle using recipes from her grandmother or canning her famous bread and butter pickles. The family moved from Niagara Falls to Grand Island in 1996.
An athlete in her early years, she played soccer in high school and coached youth soccer in the Niagara Pioneer Soccer League in the late 1980s. She and her husband enjoyed tennis, swimming and boating on the Niagara River and spending time with their three daughters and six grandchildren. She was a longtime member of the Grand Island Women's Book Club.
She maintained her sense of humor after twice undergoing brain cancer surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and amazed her family and friends with her perseverance and determination undergoing extensive therapy after suffering a stroke at 61.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by three daughters, Catherine Tutko of Clarence, Jennifer Klassen of Michigan and Mary Hazel of Grand Island; a sister, Jane McGory; and six grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the University at Buffalo Newman Center, 495 Skinnersville Road, Amherst.