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Doris LaSpada

Doris LaSpada

Doris (Davis) LaSpada, 86, was called home to the Lord our Savior on Friday, May 7, 2021, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare in Wilmington, N.C., following a brief illness. She was born Sept. 19, 1934, and grew up in St. James, N.Y., the daughter of Bryson and Mabel (Coram) Davis.

Doris graduated from Smithtown Branch High School in Smithtown, N.Y., in 1952. She attended Fredonia State Teacher’s College and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and speech. It was there she met the love of her life, Anthony LaSpada, while working together at the campus radio station. They were later married on Nov. 12, 1955, at Holy Trinity Church in Dunkirk, N.Y.., and were married for 47 years until his death in 2002.

She was an elementary teacher for over 30 years beginning her career at Westfield Elementary School. She then began teaching at Dunkirk Public Schools at Schools 3, 4, 5, and 7, primarily teaching kindergarten which was truly her passion. She was very active in the Dunkirk Teacher’s Association serving as vice president for many years.

Doris loved life to its fullest and music was one of her passions. Aside from being an accomplished piano and organ player, Doris loved to sing. She also played many other instruments throughout her life including the violin, French horn, baritone horn, harmonica and the tuba. This showed through her involvement with many choral groups and bands throughout her life, most recently the Holy Trinity Choir and the New Horizons band where she played the baritone horn and started to learn to play percussion.

She was an active member of Holy Trinity Parish, where she played the organ for many years. She was a eucharistic minister and lector as well as a member of the Liturgy Committee, Women’s Guild and Bishop’s Committee. She was very active in organizing many traditional events for the parish including St. Joseph Day, New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras festivities.

She was also involved with Spoons & Spools and the Dunkirk Senior Center. In her earlier years, she participated in the High Fever Follies and was a member of Frank Acquavia Women’s Auxiliary. She was also an ombudsman at Chautauqua County Nursing and Rehab Center.

Doris loved travelling with her husband. After retirement, they traveled across the country in their RV making many friends and memories along the way. They also traveled to Italy and England to unite with the LaSpada and Davis families in their ancestral homes.

Doris was an inspiration and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Survivors include her six children: Dominic (Melissa Damico) LaSpada, Palma Minnich, Deborah (Ronald) Brown, David (Alison) LaSpada, Joan (Tony Brovich) LaSpada and Audrey (Brad) Lancaster; grand children: Thomas Petz, Mark Petz, Cheryl Brown, Amanda (Brown) Stull, Matthew LaSpada, Sarah LaSpada, Rachael (LaSpada) Piazza, Michael LaSpada, Jessica LaSpada, Bry-son Pacos, and Tex Watkins; as well as 12 great-grandchildren; one brother, Coram Davis; nieces: Palma Zanghi, Carol (Davis) Schwally and Deborah (Davis) Lavin; and nephews: Joseph Zanghi, Anthony Zanghi, John Zanghi and John Davis.

Doris is predeceased by her husband Anthony: parents, Bryson and Mabel Davis;, sister Audrey (Davis) Tracey; brother, Marshall Irwin Davis; and infant grandson, Christopher Joel Gary.

Following the guidelines and protocols administered by the governor of New York, family and friends may call Wednesday, May 12, from 7-9 p.m., and Thursday, May 13, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, May 14, at 10 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Sheridan, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite charity in memory of Doris LaSpada.

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