on May 15, 2014 - 7:47 PM
, updated May 15, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Nov. 30, 1944 – April 25, 2014
Patricia E. Presutti, of North Tonawanda, a teacher at Lewiston-Porter High School and an accomplished pianist and artist, died April 25 at Hospice House after a long illness. She was 69.
Born Patricia E. Kowalski in Niagara Falls, she attended Sugar Street and Niagara Street schools, Gaskill Junior High and Niagara Falls High, where she was in the class of 1962. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French from the University at Buffalo and a master’s degree in English from Buffalo State College. She taught both of those subjects at Lew-Port starting in 1967. On Dec. 30, 1975, she married Robert Presutti, a fellow Lew-Port teacher.
Mrs. Presutti took piano lessons for 11 years. She often accompanied the chorus while in school and enjoyed playing show tunes while her friends sang. For several years, she was a member of the Rainbow Singers in Niagara Falls. A highlight of belonging to her college chorus was singing Verdi’s Te Deum with the Buffalo Philharmonic in Kleinhan’s Music Hall.
An ongoing project was to play “All the Things You Are” on any piano she came across. She did this in 15 states, seven foreign countries, in a chicken coop and on a Buffalo street, where the keys fell off a discarded piano as she played.
A dabbler in art until she took a summer collage workshop at Buffalo State College, Mrs. Presutti refined her skills in mixed media and began to work more seriously. This sparked a new career of selling original artwork at summer art shows. For 14 years, she exhibited locally at the Lewiston, Allentown and Elmwood Avenue shows, in Rochester at the Clothesline and Corn Hill shows, and at various other shows in Western New York. She won first prize at Clothesline the first year she exhibited there and over the years won many other awards as well.
Mrs. Presutti was a past member of the Niagara Society of Artists and Buffalo Society of Artists. She was a member of Albright-Knox, the Burchfield Penney, the Buffalo Zoo, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Buffalo Historical Society. She was an avid golfer, wrote poetry and enjoyed gardening.
She and her husband traveled extensively. Among their European trips, in 2001 they spent a month in Krakow, Poland, as teachers of English, and she was able to explore the region where her grandparents were born.
Survivors, besides her husband, include a stepson, Matthew; a stepdaughter, Rebecca Goris; a sister, Dorothy Garry; and five grandchildren.
A service of remembrance will be at 3 p.m. Saturday in M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel, 2730 Military Road, Town of Niagara.