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Obit -- Margaret Villano

by jmaloni
Fri, Oct 15th 2010 09:00 am
Longtime Grand Island resident Margaret Villano, 93, an accomplished painter and retired art teacher, passed away on Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, at the Riverwood Nursing Home on Grand Island.

Born in New York City, the former Margaret Livingston grew up in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from the Yale Art School in 1938 and then from Sarah Lawrence College in 1940.

She married Louis Villano in 1942, and the couple moved to Grand Island in 1954. While on the Island, they enjoyed gardening, cross-country skiing, swimming and canoeing. The couple also traveled extensively.

Villano received her Master's Degree in art education from Buffalo State College in 1963 and taught art at the elementary level in the Lewiston-Porter School District from 1964-67 and at the elementary and junior high levels in the Niagara-Wheatfield School District from 1967-84.

A painter, sculptor and craftswoman, she exhibited her work at area art shows and galleries and was a charter member and former president of the Grand Island Art Society. Villano was a supporter of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Carnegie Art Center, Kenan Center, Studio Arena Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

She and her husband shared a concern for peace efforts and the environment and were active in the Western New York Peace Center and the environmental group Quality Quest of Grand Island, which gave them its community stewardship award in 1997.

Her lifelong interest in dance extended from study with Martha Graham at Sarah Lawrence to teaching classes in fitness and dance at the YWCA to taking tap lessons at the Grand Island Senior Center while in her 70s.

Her husband, a longtime copy editor at several newspapers including The Buffalo Evening News and more than 20 years at the Niagara Gazette, passed away in 2000. Villano outlived three of her four children -- sons Perron and Loren and daughter Jeri, who died in May.

Margaret is survived by a daughter, Nadina; and by two grandchildren: Lt. Ethan Reinhold and Laura Reinhold of Sundance, Wyo.

She donated her body as an anatomical gift to the University at Buffalo Medical School. Her husband, Louis, did the same upon his passing.

A memorial remembrance for Margaret and Jeri will take place Saturday, Oct. 23, at Trinity United Methodist Church.

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