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Pearl M. Emerling

Pearl Marion Emerling, 97, (nee Buggenhagen) a longtime Boston resident, passed away June 25, 2018.


Pearl was born on the family farm in Lakeview on Aug. 7, 1920 to the late Louis and Anna (nee Dennies) Buggenhagen. She attended a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade in 1933. After graduating from Hamburg High School in 1937, she earned an associate’s degree from Chown School of Business in Buffalo and worked as a secretary in a real estate office, then at Jacob Hauck and Sons in Hamburg for nearly a decade, writing insurance policies.

Pearl met her husband, Maurice J. Emerling, at a barn dance in Boston which she attended with her sister. After they married, they built their home and settled in Boston in 1947. While raising their five children, Pearl partnered with Morrie in his business endeavors, including Emerling Chevrolet and Massey-Ferguson in Boston. She also earned a second associate degree from Hilbert College in 1975.

Pearl was active in her children’s lives as they grew up. She was a tireless volunteer and member of many school and community organizations, holding leadership positions in most of them, including the American Red Cross, Boston Historical Society, Immaculata Academy, Canisius High School, Welcome Wagon, Faith United Church of Christ, Hamburg Antiques Study Group and Boston Seniors. The Boston Chamber of Commerce named her Person of the Year in 1986. In 2017 Assembly David DiPietro presented her with a citation and a plaque honoring her lifetime of public service.

Pearl’s many interests and activities included gardening, swimming, bridge and reading, especially historical novels and nonfiction. She learned to ski in her 30s and enjoyed going to dances with her husband. She was a world traveler, including trips to Alaska, Egypt, England, Ireland, France, Europe, the former Soviet Union, Bermuda and China. For 65 years, she and Morrie and their family spent summers at Chautauqua Lake, where Pearl was active at the Chautauqua Institution and in the community.

Pearl had moved to Fox Run in Orchard Park, which she loved because of the friendships, activities and people and where she continued her lifelong pattern of being a generous and caring friend.

In addition to her parents, Pearl was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years; a son, Leigh; an infant daughter Sara Jane; siblings Franklin (Eleanor) Buggenhagen, Mildred (George) Monckton, Harvey (Ruth) Buggenhagen and Ervin (Evelyn) Buggenhagen and a brother-in-law Frank Santoro.

Pearl is survived by four children Maureen (Douglas Ronsheim) of Mayville, Carl A. (Sandra) of Boston, Roy L. (Jennifer) of Orchard Park and Janis (William) Solak of Boston; daughter-in-law Dianne; sister-in-law Marcia Santoro of Long Island; 15 beloved grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

A memorial service will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8 from Faith United Church of Christ, 8651 Boston State Road, Boston, at 11 a.m. In accordance to Pearl’s wishes, her body was donated to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Boston Free Library, P.O. Box 200 Boston, N.Y. 14025 or to Faith United Church of Christ in Boston.


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