July 13, 1919 – Jan. 6, 2013
Maria Theresa Gryta – who weathered the Great Depression cleaning the homes of some of Buffalo’s wealthiest residents, but became better known to legions of Buffalo State College students as their favorite campus food service cashier – died Sunday at the Weinberg Campus, Getzville, after a short illness. She was 93.
A Buffalo native and one of eight children of Polish immigrants Joseph and Karolina Walasek, she and her older sisters had to drop out of grade school at the height of the Great Depression of the 1930s and walk, even in the worst Buffalo snowstorms, to Delaware Avenue mansions to clean house for a number of wealthy Buffalo families.
During World War II, she worked at military production plants on Chandler Street in Black Rock, where she grew up. For a time, she and her family lived in Cheektowaga.
Mrs. Gryta later became a waitress at McVan’s nightclub, which featured nationally known performers and famed MC Tony Oddie, as well as lovely chorus girls. She worked as a cashier in the Buffalo State College student lounge from 1963 until her retirement in 1981.
She was Republican elections inspector in the early 1960s in the Black Rock area, as well as a longtime member of the Northwest Senior Citizens organization on Lawn Avenue.
Survivors include two sons, Matt and Douglas.
After prayers and a public viewing at 9 a.m. Saturday in Siwek Funeral Home, 3000 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, a memorial service will follow at 10.