Leola J. Coniglio, 89, of Fredonia, NY passed away peacefully Monday (July 22, 2013) at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk surrounded by her family. She was born in Dunkirk on Feb. 19, 1924, the eldest daughter of the late Harold and Bernice (Szclaszkiewicz) VandeVelde. A lifelong local resident, Leola graduated from Dunkirk High School in 1941. After receiving her nursing training and diploma from Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, she was commissioned as a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1944. She served in the Pacific Theater caring for our wounded troops in both Hawaii and Guam.Following her honorable discharge in 1946, Leola returned to Dunkirk. She met and eventually married the late Louis Coniglio of Fredonia on Nov. 15, 1947. She continued her nursing career at Brooks Memorial Hospital and worked there 40 years, including the last 22 years as the Head Nurse on 3A. Leola was a founding member of the Frank Acquavia American Legion Auxiliary for more than 67 years and was also a member of the regular Legion for 35 years. A devout Catholic her entire life, she was a parishioner of St. Anthony's Church.Survivors include her children, Charles (Janice) Coniglio of Santa Ana, CA, Cynthia (John) Fitzgerald of Fredonia, Candace Jordan of Fredonia and Raymond (Cindy) Coniglio of Quakertown, PA; grand-children Christopher (Louise) Coniglio, Steven (Katherine Kim) Coniglio, Gwen Fitzgerald, Derek Jordan, Ellen Fitzgerald (Michael) Farkas and Jessica Coniglio; great grandchildren Catherine & Claire Coniglio, Cecilia Jordan, Gabriel Farkas and Crosby Coniglio. Also surviving are her brothers-in-law Joseph Cristina and Charles Alaimo, along with many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her siblings Florence Corsoro, Albert (Abby) VandeVelde, Dorothy Cristina and Mary Jane Alaimo. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated Friday morning at 10 o'clock in St. Anthony's Church, Fredonia. Burial will be in St. Anthony's Cemetery. Friends are invited to call today from 4-8 p.m. at the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Columbans on the Lake, 2546 Lake Road, Silver Creek, NY 14136.
Leola J. Coniglio