Jan. 2, 1955 - Sept. 28, 2012
Elaine M. Powers, president of Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Services for the blind, died Friday after a long illness, while under the care of Hospice. She was 57.
A native of Strykersville, the former Elaine M. Schwab suffered most of her life from retinal blastoma, a hereditary childhood cancer, but she was the only member of her family who was blind. She lost one eye at age 2 and her second eye at age 7.
She fought off death on many occasions and suffered recurrences of cancer in 1999 and 2004.
Mrs. Powers was a graduate of the State School for the Blind in Batavia and was a long-term president of the school's board of visitors.
She earned a bachelor's degree from Buffalo State College, where she received numerous honors and awards.
She was an instructor in the skills of daily living for the Blind Association of Western New York from 1976 to 1985 and coordinator of the Visual Impairment Services Team at Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 1985.
She was given the Jefferson Award, co-sponsored by The Buffalo News and WNED-TV, for her can-do attitude in 2006.
Mrs. Powers was a member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Williamsville.
Survivors include her husband, Michael P.; a daughter, Kathleen A. Siddique; two brothers, Dale and Douglas Schwab; and three sisters, Patricia Bond, Judith Perl and Mary Lynn Andrews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today in the St. Mary's site of St. John Neumann Catholic Parish, 3854 Main St., Strykersville.