Long-time Gaines resident Edna Margaret (Ball) Woolston died January 21 in Spencerport, surrounded by her family. She was 93.
Edna was born in Niagara Falls, NY on April 4, 1925 to Colonel and Sylvia Ball and moved to Gaines as a young girl. She attended Albion schools and graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1942. During six decades years of life in Gaines, she and her husband Bill raised five children. She also spent a decade as town clerk, before moving to Alaska in 1993 where she and Bill lived for 20 years. When Bill passed away nearly six years ago, Edna moved back to New York, and lived with her eldest daughter Shari and son-in-law Tom.
In addition to raising a large and loving family, Edna was an avid writer, having penned dozens of published newspaper columns and countless unpublished stories about her life in New York and Alaska and the family she so cherished. She also played piano and in her younger years sang in a quartet with her husband. She was beloved for her wit and sense of humor, even in her last days.
Edna was predeceased by her husband of nearly 70 years, William Woolston, and is survived by five children, 18 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 8 great great grandchildren. Her family includes daughter and son-in-law Shari and Tom Hicks of Spencerport, NY and children Amy Hughson Banks, Laura Hughson Pinson, Chuck Hughson, Suzy Hicks and Sarah Hicks Lettis; daughter and son-in-law Kathleen and Rick Smith of Gaines, NY and children Jay, Aaron and Shawn Morrison; daughter and son-in-law Melanie and Andrew Schaffran of Katonah, NY and children Lindsay and Brett Schaffran; son and daughter-in-law Bill and Brenda Woolston of Jensen Beach, FL and children Jennifer Jurs, Kimberly Thornton, Nicholas Woolston and Nicholas Brunston; and son and daughter-in-law Tim and Kristina Woolston of Anchorage, AK, and children Savannah, Shelby, Noah and Charlotte Woolston. Edna was predeceased by her sister Minnie and brother Charles.
A celebration of life will be held this July at Gaines Congregational Church, which was built in the 1950s by her father and husband.