Mary (nee Leighton) Strout

Mary (nee Leighton) Strout

2008

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Obituary of Mary (nee Leighton) Strout

Mary Melissa (nee Leighton) Strout passed away January 3, 2008 at home after a long battle with emphysema. Mary was born October 31, 1921 in Niagara Falls, NY, the daughter of Dr. Frederick Leighton, a general practitioner at Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital, and Ruth Curtis Greathouse Leighton. Mary married Norman W Strout in 1943 and they remained devoted to each other through these many years together. They produced six children, John Frederick and infant Mary M., who preceded her in death, and Andrew L. of Norman, Oklahoma, David N. of Pendleton, NY, Mary Melissa Levey of Queens, NY and Catherine W. Strout of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Sixteen grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren also survive her. Mary was an accomplished pianist and vocalist who adored classical music and opera and spent many years singing and several years as choir mistress of the Methodist Church in Pendleton. In 1962 she returned to the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Niagara Falls where she remained an active member until her health prevented regular attendance. Her parents were founding members of the Unitarian Church and she was committed to its continued role for spiritual guidance in the community. Mary earned her Bachelor&amp;#39;s degree in English literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1943 and her Master&amp;#39;s of Education at the University of Buffalo in 1965. As an educator dedicated to her students&amp;#39; successes, she taught English and Humanities at Kenmore West High School (1962 - 1968), Roy-Hart Central School (1968 - 1970), and Sweet Home High School from 1974 until her retirement in 1984. She also served as director of the Alternative Free School located on the Millard Fillmore college campus of SUNY at Buffalo from 1970 to 1971. This program was established to provide education for students who were struggling with the traditional public school model. During the late 1960&amp;#39;s, students often migrated to the family farm, which became known as the People Farm during the turbulent days of the period. Mary served as mentor to the many who congregated and provided a safe haven where drugs and alcohol were forbidden but free thought and personal responsibility was encouraged. Mary began her international travels while she was still teaching including Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Algeria and India. She and Norman traveled extensively within the country making regular expeditions to Oklahoma and New Mexico. ��Services will be held at a later date. <h3>Visitation</h3> Visitation Times
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