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Marietta C. Lafornara, 76, retired Tonawanda Senior Center director

Marietta C. Lafornara, 76, retired Tonawanda Senior Center director

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Marietta C. Lafornara

May 24, 1944 – March 17, 2021

Marietta C. Lafornara, retired director of the Town of Tonawanda Senior Center, died March 17 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a long illness. She was 76.

Born Marietta Lipomi in Buffalo, the oldest of five children, she was a 1962 graduate of Kenmore East High School. After they were introduced by her cousin, she and her husband, Anthony J. Lafornara Jr., were married Oct. 3, 1964.

Once her three children were raised, she enrolled in Canisius College in 1984 and earned a bachelor’s degree in gerontology.

Mrs. Lafornara began working part-time at the Town of Tonawanda Senior Center in 1985 and became a full-time recreational supervisor and senior center director. She retired in 2007.

She organized the support program for soldiers in the Army Reserve brigade under her husband’s command during Operation Desert Storm.

She twice served as president of the Kenmore Lions Club and was a board member of the Mussomeli Sicilian Society.

For her service to the Lions Club, she received the Melvin Jones Award and the Robert Uplinger Distinguished Service Award.

The Army presented her with a Commander Award for Public Service and Canisius College honored her with the Barbara Romero Memorial Award for her work in gerontology.

“When she did something, she went in full bin,” her daughter Patricia Lafornara-Anzalone said. “She would up being president of everything we all were involved in.”

Mrs. Lafornara dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus for the Breakfast with Santa programs at the Tonawanda Senior Center and portrayed La Befana, the legendary Italian figure who gives children candy in the Christmas season.

In addition to her husband, a retired Army colonel and social studies teacher at Riverside High School, survivors include two daughters, Carol Kirk and Patricia Lafornara-Anzalone; a son, Anthony J. III; a sister, Kathleen Fuzi; two brothers, Kevin P. Lipomi and Jack D. Lipomi; and six grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:45 a.m. Friday in St. John the Baptist Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

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Dale Anderson has been a Buffalo News staff reporter since 1968. He was the chief rock and pop writer for 20 years and helped establish the weekend entertainment magazine Gusto.

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