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Shirley's Story

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Shirley H. Elia, 89, of Wilson, NY, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at the Niagara Hospice House in Lockport, NY. She was born on December 6, 1928 in Niagara Falls, NY, the daughter of the late James and Helen (Sedlak) Knize, both Czechoslovakian immigrants.
Shirley grew up in the Falls, where she attended Niagara Falls Senior High School, and graduated in 1946. It was there, she met her childhood sweetheart and eventual husband, Arthur Elia, of Sevenson Environmental Services. The two would marry on June 19, 1948, and they had four children; three sons, Laurence, Michael and Richard, and one daughter, Christine. Mr. Elia predeceased her on December 22, 2011 after 63 years of marriage.
Prior to her marriage, Shirley worked at Marine Midland Bank as a teller. Upon marriage, she devoted her life to her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nothing was more important to her than spending time with family. Loyalty to her husband, family, and faith was the foundation of her life.
She was a lifetime member of St. Francis Guild of Mt. St. Mary's Hospital. Her favorite pastimes included gardening, knitting and crocheting, cooking, and traveling the world.
Shirley is survived by her children, Laurence A. (Christina) Elia, Michael A. (Karin) Elia, Richard A. (Christina) Elia, and Christine E. (Philip) DeLuca; 16 grandchildren, Samia (Ryan) Brennan, Arthur (Jenna) Elia, Anthony Elia, George Elia, Benjamin Elia, Jennifer Elia, Michael (Danielle) Elia, Jessica Elia, Michelle (Daniel) Evans, Richard (Angela) Elia II, Rachel (Kevin) Fura, Joseph (Ashley) Elia, Lauren DeLuca, Adrian DeLuca, Alexa (Charles) Martin, and Justin (Meredith) DeLuca; 16 great-grandchildren; one sister, Becky (late Ken) Young; as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Elia was predeceased her brothers, Hank (late Mary) Knize, Jim (late Dorothy) Knize; her sisters, Agnes (late Howard) Steinbrenner, Dorothy (late Jennings) Waldron, and Pauline (late Paul) Sullivan.
A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, December 23rd, at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, 620 Center Street, Lewiston, NY 14092. The service will begin at 10 AM, and the Elia family welcomes everyone to join together in recognition and celebration of Shirley's life.
In lieu of gifts, the family asks that donations to be made in her honor to Niagara Hospice House, 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport, New York 14094.
Arrangements by M.J. COLUCCI & SON NIAGARA FUNERAL CHAPEL, 2730 Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14304. Visit mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com for online guest register.
Published on December 20, 2017
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