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Joanne E. Lucas, 85, Catholic Center employee, religious education teacher

April 7, 1934 – Sept. 1, 2019

Joanne E. Lucas, a retired religious education teacher and administrative assistant in the Buffalo Catholic Center, died Sept. 1 in her Williamsville home after a long illness. She was 85.

Born Joanne E. Bissonette in Buffalo, she grew up in the University Heights neighborhood and attended School 63, where she won the Jesse Ketchum medal as an outstanding student.

She went on to Sacred Heart Academy, where she was an honor student, played on the basketball team and made lifelong friends.

She worked for Bell Telephone Co. in the 1950s and taught religious education at Bishop Turner High School, Holy Angels Academy and other Catholic high schools in the 1970s.

She began working at the Buffalo Catholic Center in 1980 and retired in the late 1990s.

The daughter of an art teacher, she was a talented artist and volunteered to design posters for community events. In retirement, she volunteered to visit the elderly and assisted at community events in Williamsville.

She was active in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, University Heights civic groups, the Sacred Heart Alumnae Association and the parent organizations at Sacred Heart Academy and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.

Her husband of 40 years, Paul K. Lucas, died in 1997.

Her older brother, the Rev. A. Joseph Bissonette, a popular Buffalo priest, was slain by robbers in 1987 in the rectory of St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church on Grider Street.

Survivors include a daughter, Cheryl Lucas Canfield; a son, Keith M.; a brother, Raymond P.; and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Sept. 6 in St. Joseph University Church, 3269 Main St.

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