Elizabeth Waclawek (Kempkes)
Waclawek, Elizabeth "Betty" M. (nee Kempkes) - May 28, 2018 - Beloved wife of the late Frank A. Waclawek Sr. Devoted mother of Beth (Dennis) O'Brien, Mary Jo (David) Philleo, Barbara (Cheryl Reinhardt) Waclawek, Frank A. "Buddy" (Liz), Gerard "Gerry" and Thomas "Tom" (Lynn) Waclawek and the late Margaret "Marge" Ricketts. Mother in law of David Ricketts. Loving grandmother of 13 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Dear sister of the late Paula Cooperdock. Also survived by nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends at the C. Mertz and Son Funeral Home, Inc. 911 Englewood Ave. Friday, June 1st from 2-4 and 6-8 PM, where funeral services will be held Saturday, June 2nd at 9:00 AM and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Church 1085 Englewood Ave. at 9:30 AM . In lieu of flowers donations in Betty's memory to Ken-Ton Meals on Wheels or Hospice Foundation of WNY. Share condolences at www.mertzfh.com
Life Story for Elizabeth Waclawek (Kempkes)
Elizabeth M. Waclawek, better known as Betty, went home to be with our Lord on Monday, May 28th after a brief illness. She was a devoted wife to her husband, the late Frank Waclawek, Sr., loving mother to her seven children, and an ever-present grandmother to her 13 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Betty grew up in a faith filled home, attending St. Gerard’s School and Sacred Heart Academy. She went to Buffalo State College for a bachelor’ degree in education to fulfill her dream of teaching. The Orchard Park School System was the first stop for Miss Kempkes and eventual Mrs. Waclawek. Betty also received her master’s degree in education from Canisius College. When motherhood took her out of the classroom for a while, she turned to involvement with her children as a girl scout leader and cub scout den mother. She was also active in the Bishop’s Discussion Group as a way to pass on her faith to her children
The call of education took Betty back to school with initial part time jobs in local schools, until she began with the Williamsville Central School District teaching in both Casey and Heim Middle Schools. She retired from education 1985 and began her second life of volunteer activities. She became very active in her parish over the next 40 years becoming a lector, a eucharistic minister, a religious education teacher and a parish council member. She was a reader for the Niagara Frontier Reading Association, reading the news over the radio for shut-ins. The LCBA benefited from Betty’s talents as she served in multiple positions and was honored as National Fraternalist of the Year in 2005.
She also had an active social life. Being a member of the “Brighton Earlies” Homemakers Group and the “Craft Club” (a group of former girl scout leaders determined to stay together after their girls had grown up and moved on to other activities). These two groups fed Betty’s passion for crafts.
Betty was a female athlete before there was such a thing. Stories of sliding into second base on gravel fields and basketball game with six girls on a team were a mainstay in shared memories. She passed her athletic prowess on to most of her children and grandchildren as a wide variety of sports teams benefited from the ringing of the famous cowbell from a zealous fan. The Buffalo Bisons will certainly miss her cheering from her third base line seats, as she was a dedicated season ticket holder for many years.
She had wonderful neighbors and was fortunate to stay in the home where she raised her children until health issues over the past month forced a hospital stay. Betty will be missed by the many people who’s lives she touched over the years. May she rest in peace.