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Death notices and obituaries from the March 2 Springville Journal

Margaret Chowaniec
Margaret S. (nee Buhr) Chowaniec “Peg,” 85, of Derby, N.Y., formerly of Boston, died Feb. 24, in the Woman’s Christian Association Home of Fredonia.

She was the wife of the late Eugene Chowaniec; mother of James (Marlene) Chowaniec, Diane (Mike) Dobnack and the late Thomas (Valerie) Chowaniec; sister of the late Anna Gilbert and Marion MacPeek; aunt of Ann MacPeek-Gerhard, John (Peg) MacPeek and the late Ellen (George) Phillips and Charles MacPeek; also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held on March 2 at noon, from Blessed John Paul II Parish, located in Lakeview. Burial will be in the Bath National Cemetery.

Arrangements were made by the Addison Funeral Home Inc. in Angola. Online condolences may be made at


Mary Ellen Eagan
Mary Ellen (nee Williamson) Eagan of Boston died Feb. 15. She was the wife of the late Sylvester Eagan; sister of Alice and John Williamson and the late Terri Williams; also survived by many nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held March 2 from the Wurtz Funeral Home in Boston.


Hugh Foster
Hugh M. Foster Sr., 82, of Orlando, Fla., died Feb. 24 at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo.

He was born in Homewood, Fla. on Oct. 16, 1930, to the late Ralph and Effie (nee Acree) Foster.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 – 55, during the Korean War. He spoke Russian, served as principal for a boys ranch in Pine Hills, Fla. and was a member of the Christian Missionary Alliance Church.

He was the husband of the late Joelle Foster and Eileen Foster; father of Lynelle Brents of Oklahoma and Hugh (Ayleene) Foster Jr. of Collins; stepfather of Douglas McCaw of Maitland, Fla. and the late Marilyn Lynch; grandfather of 10 grandchildren; great-grandfather of 11 great-grandchildren; brother of the late Lester Foster.

A funeral will be held in Florida. Burial will be in Greenwood City Cemetery of Orlando.

Arrangements were made by the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, located at 271 East Main St. in Springville. Online condolences may be made at


Earl Smith

Earl Smith, 71, of Lemmon, S.D. died Feb. 21.

He was born Feb. 15, 1942 in Buffalo, to the late Earl and Minnie (nee Sarles) Smith. He was the oldest of seven children. He graduated from Springville-Griffith Institute in June 1959.

When he was in the eighth grade, Earl earned the American Legion Certificate of School Award. A pitcher in Little League baseball, he once pitched a no-hitter game. He played tennis all four years of high school and won the regional doubles championship, his senior year. His trophy is still displayed at the high school.

After graduation, Earl worked in New Orleans and Boise, at a ski lodge in Salt Lake City and in Farmington, N.M. oil fields.

While in Portland, Ore., he met and married the former Donna Lewis on Feb. 23, 1963. The couple operated a farm together, in Gales Creek, Ore.

In January 1964, Earl joined the Aloha Volunteer Fire Department in Oregon. He was hired as a full-time firefighter in 1966. While in Gales Creek, Earl helped form a volunteer fire station, after watching a neighbor’s barn burn. He later accepted the position as chief of the Rainier, Ore. fire department, in 1981.

In 1983, he became chief of a fire service district in Kodiak, Ala. There, he recruited and trained volunteers, purchased fire equipment, established standard operating procedures and spearheaded funding for a burn building and the expansion of the fire station. Earl remained in the fire service, until his October 1998 retirement from the Bayside Fire Department.

A duck and upland game bird hunter, Earl went big game hunting in New York, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. He harvested deer, elk, moose and caribou. He hunted pheasants and upland game birds in Oregon, ptarmigan and sea ducks in Alaska and pheasants and upland game birds in North Dakota and South Dakota.

He was the husband of Donna (nee Lewis) Smith. Father of Earl “Artie” Smith, of Florissant, Colo. and Laura Casey and Shari Smith, both of Lemmon. Grandfather of Breanna (Robert) Thomas, Zach Casey and Cameron Casey; great-grandfather of Ashlyn Thomas; brother of George Smith of Hamburg, Art (Nancy) Smith of Kenmore, Wayne (Sandy) Smith of Sardinia, Roy Smith of Springville, Barbara Smith, Gowanda and the late Dennis Smith; brother-in-law of the late Myra Hixson.

A funeral was held Feb. 26 from the New Hope Worship Center in Lemmon. Deacon Bill Dustman officiated. Burial was in the Greenhill Cemetery of Lemmon.

Arrangements were made by the Evanson-Jensen Funeral Home of Lemmon. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Lemmon Relay for Life. Online condolences may be made at


Jean Spalti
Jean Wilma (nee Phillips) Spalti, 80, of Springville, died at her home on Feb. 20.

She had worked at Robinson Knife Factory in Springville and at Motorola in Yorkshire and Elma.

She was the wife of Walter Spalti; daughter of Marion and Evelyn (nee Ahrens) Phillips Whiteman; step-daughter of the late Andrew Whiteman; mother of Robert (Sharon) Spalti, Gary Spalti, Cathleen (Ray) Wright Sr. and David Spalti; sister of the late James (Shirley) Phillips, Jane (Donald) Engels, George (Mary) Phillips, Edward (Sue) Phillips, Charles (Nancy) Whiteman and William Whiteman; also survived by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held March 2, from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ellicottville. The Rev. William Kay officiated.

Ethel SpauldingEthel L. (nee Benton) Spaulding, 97, of Boston, died Feb. 24 at Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home.
She was born Sept. 6, 1915 in Buffalo, to Ernest and Ruth (nee Markham) Benton.
She was a Sunday School teacher, taught at Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Ellicottville, worked in the dietary department at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and taught at West Valley Central School.
She was the wife of the late Leslie Spaulding; mother of David (Wendy) Spaulding of Hamburg and the late Donald, Kenneth and John Spaulding; grandmother of eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; sister of Bessie Babcock of Lancaster, Evelyn Rogers of East Aurora, Duane (Carolyn) Benton of Wilmington, Del. and the late Lloyd Benton and Ruth King; mother-in-law of Irma and Judy Spaulding.
A funeral was held Feb. 27 from Salem Lutheran Church of Springville. The Rev. Robert Knepel officiated.
Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in Concord. Arrangements were made by the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, located at 271 East Main St. in Springville. Online condolences may be made at

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