Lucille Kathleen Lahti
Lucille Kathleen Lahti, 93, of Big Inlet Creek in Hartfield, town of Chautauqua, N.Y., died Satur-day, June 1, 2013, in her home.
She was the widow of Martin “John” Lahti, who died Sept. 26, 1993, after 40 years of marriage.
Lucille was born Feb. 4, 1920, in Bradford, Pa., a daughter of the late Clarence J. and Kathleen Smith Dempsey, and was a graduate of Bradford High School.
In earlier years, Lucille lived in Buffalo where she worked as a switchboard operator, an occupation she returned to after raising her family in the town of Tonawanda. She sang with a band in the 1940s and loved to dance. She returned to tap dancing lessons in the 1970s, with her class recital held at Kleinhans Music Hall.
She moved to Warner Robins, Ga., when her husband was transferred to Ro-bins Air Force Base, then transferred to Cheyenne, Wyo., and returned to Warner Robins after her husband’s retirement. Fol-lowing his death, Lucille returned to Chautauqua County.
Lucille loved her job operating a switchboard at Rosary Hill College in Buffalo, but gave it up to move to Georgia, when her hus-band was transferred to Robins Air Force Base. She was forced to retire as a switchboard operator when she could not understand the accent in middle Georgia, but grew to love living in Warner Robins. Lucille picked up a second love for gardening in the long growing season of the south. She lived in Cheyenne, Wyo., for two years when John took a promotion to FE Warren Air Force Base, but they retired back in Warner Robins. Following John’s death, Lucille returned to Western New York to live out her days. She had never been boat-ing, but one trip on a boat in Chautauqua Lake and Lucille was hooked. Her daughter and son-in-law rushed out to buy a pontoon boat and took her out on the lake as much as weather permitted.
Lucille is survived by two daughters: Kathleen Lahti (Lawrence Ma-zurczyk) of Hartfield, N.Y. and Diane Lahti Smith (Michael) of Warner Ro-bins, Ga.; a son, Joseph “Jerry” Priddy (Diane) of Scandia, Pa.; two grand-sons: Martin and Mitchell Smith of Warner Robins; sisters-in-law: Carole Dempsey of Webster, N.Y., Helen Stephenson Santi of Crystal Beach, Ontario, I. Irene Armlovich of East Aurora, N.Y., and Rose Lahti of Denver, Colo.; brothers-in-law: William Lahti of Denver, Colo., and Peter Lahti of Omaha, Neb.; and 27 nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by three sisters: Winnie Dempsey, Dorette Dempsey and Gloria Niani-atus; and a brother, Donald “Bud” Dempsey.
The funeral will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Lind Funeral Home. Jennifer Delahoy, Hospice chaplain, will officiate. Burial will be in the Andersonville National Cemetery in Andersonville, Ga.
Friends will be received for three hours prior to the service, from 5-8 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Chautauqua County for the great as-sistance given to Lucille. Memorials may be made to Hospice, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY 14750; or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Lucille at www.lindfuneralhome. com.