IDZAK - Lois S. (nee Schall)
Lois Idzak, 90, a pillar of life in the Village of Williamsville for years, died Saturday, May 18, 2019, in Reston, Virginia.
She worked as production manager at Bee Group Newspapers for 28 years, retiring in 1997. Working with town, village and county clerks in preparing and publishing legal notices, she was a valuable connection with local government.
Mrs. Idzak’s interest in politics dated back to the days when she was too young even to cast a vote.
“Roswell Turk owned the Mansion House and I worked in the hardware store,” she said in a 1997 interview. “Turk wanted to build apartments on South Cayuga but didn’t have the votes he needed on the Village Board. So he convinced Irv Fessard to run and asked me to man a polling place as a campaign worker.”
Years later, as chair of the Civic Pride Party, she received a call from a young man interested in running for trustee. The caller was John B. Sheffer II, who would rise to become one of the most prominent and well-liked political officials of his day.
“I’m proud of saying John Sheffer’s political career began on my dining room table,” she said.
Sheffer won the race and was elected mayor in 1977. Idzak was appointed to fill his unexpired term and served on the village board for one year. She was defeated in the next election.
Mrs. Idzak’s outside interests were boundless. She was chair of the 125th anniversary celebration of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Williamsville; vice chairman of the Amherst Republican Committee; and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Hutchinson Hose Company.
Her career at The Bee began in 1969 when she applied for a job in the front office. Then-Publisher George J. Measer hired her, then called her at home the same day.
“He said, ‘You don’t want to work up front. You belong in the production department. You sew; anyone who sews pays attention to detail. That’s what we need.’”
Mrs. Idzak’s tenure ran the gamut from old-school “hot type” to pagination with full color.
As The Bee expanded into new markets, dozens of individual pages documenting the news in numerous communities passed before her eyes, week after week.
“I can honestly say there was never a day when I did not want to go to work,” she said. -Amherst Bee
Mrs. Idzak was the beloved wife of the late Edward Idzak; loving mother of David (Vivian) Ottney, Bonnie (Clyde)
Davis and Tonya (Robert) Elliott; cherished grandmother of seven; devoted great-grandmother of six;
dear sister of Barbara (David) Weber. The family will be present to receive friends Friday, May 31st
from 4-8 PM at BEACH-TUYN FUNERAL HOME, INC., 5541 Main Street (at Cayuga Rd.), Williamsville.
Friends are invited to attend a Funeral Service Saturday morning, June 1st at 10 o’clock in St. Paul’s
Evangelical Lutheran Church, 68 Eagle St., Williamsville, 14221. Please assemble at church.
In lieu of flowers, In lieu of flowers, memorials to the church for the St. Paul’s 1-5-0 Anniversary Campaign are appreciated.
Click HERE to make a donation in Mrs. Idzak's name on the GoFundMe page for the St. Paul's 1-5-0 Anniversary Campaign.