Sept. 14, 1926 – July 10, 2014
Mary S. Frenett, a U.S. immigrant in the early 1930s who went on to become the first female claims adjuster at GMAC in Buffalo, died Thursday in Mercy Hospital. She was 87.
Mrs. Frenett had battled a long illness.
Born in Drmeni in the Republic of Macedonia, the former Mary Stevanoff sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with her mother and sister to arrive in the United States in the early 1930s. After the family connected with Mrs. Frenett’s father, Eftin, they settled in Lackawanna and later moved to Blasdell.
Mrs. Frenett, who earned her associate degree in business from Bryant & Stratton College, was the first member of her family to attend college. Her first job came as a sales associate at W.T. Grant’s Department Store in Buffalo.
In the 1950s, she became the first female claims adjuster at GMAC, an auto insurance company.
Mrs. Frenett started working for Frontier Central Schools in the 1970s and became the lunchroom monitor at Blasdell Elementary School. She was also the attendance officer at Frontier High School.
Mrs. Frenett, who was fluent in Macedonian and English, attended annual conventions for the Macedonian Patriotic Organization with her family. She was an excellent ballroom dancer, an accomplished horticulturist and an avid reader. Mrs. Frenett was known to read a book in one day.
She also enjoyed baking, knitting and needlepoint, and conversing with family and friends on politics and current events.
Mrs. Frenett is survived by her husband of 55 years, John Frenett; a son, John E. Frenett; a daughter, Michele Frenett; a brother, Peter Stevanoff; a sister, Rose Danforth; and three grandchildren.
A private service was held in her honor.