Olean - Marie Comstock-Johnson "Devoted Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Friend"
Marie Comstock-Johnson, formerly of 1305 Kamery Road, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at the Cuba Memorial Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility, following a brief illness, surrounded by the love of her closest family.
Marie Louise was born on Nov. 21, 1925 in Batavia and was the youngest child of Helen and William "Bill" Balduf. On Sept. 15, 1946, she married her husband of 39 years, Robert "Bob" Comstock, who predeceased her on Nov. 17, 1985. After her first husband died, she fell in love and married on May 16, 1987 Robert L. "Bob" Johnson, after the death of his wife Helen, through their church, First Presbyterian. She was completely devoted to Bob J and enjoyed 31 1/2 happy years of marriage with her loving husband, who survives.
Marie graduated from Batavia High School a year early to become a student cadet through the Cadet Nurse Corps, a program founded in World War II to train nurses to serve in the armed forces. She graduated top of her class from Highland Hospital School of Nursing, now the University of Rochester School of Nursing. During World War II, a classmate Betty asked her to write her brother Robert "Bob" Comstock who was serving in the Army Air Corp in Saipan.
Marie was a dedicated nurse, working at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville and doing special duty care of recovering and patients at the end of their lives at night so she could care for her family in the day and evening. She went on to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, in Olean. She served humanity at Olean General Hospital first as an assistant head nurse and then head nurse of the 60 bed "friendly" 2nd floor. She showed great compassion caring for her patients and their families. She taught her nurses "the art" of nursing and how to listen and learn from them. She mentored many nurses. She retired in December of 1984 to provide care (along with Jan) for Bob and John. Through John's illness she saw first hand the need for hospice care in this area and worked tirelessly to do so after their deaths Along with Home Health Care of Western New York (and Jan) she helped to found the Comstock Hospice Care Network. Her work was dedicated to Bob and John's memory. She felt all of her years of caring for others led her to be able to care for them in their time of need.
Marie always "bloomed where she was planted." She was active helping others in Irondequoit, and later Dansville, serving as Sunday School Superintendent, President of the PTA, scout leader for cub scouts, boy scouts, brownies, and girl scouts for her children. She became a mother to dear Miyoko Noguchi of Nagasaki, Japan through the American Field Service program, when Miyoko lived with the family for a year. She served as both vice president and president of the American Field Service Club after coming to Olean. Along with Bob J, she was a member of Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County, serving as treasurer for many years. She believed in preserving the earth and fought with the Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County against the Farmersville dump, Allegany Wind Farm, and hydro-fracking. She was a 50 year member and a Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church in Olean. She was recognized with various awards through the years, but her focus was seeing a need and trying to fill it. She was a long time Comstock Hospice Care Patient Volunteer and guild member.
Marie loved nature, sunrises, sunsets, gardening working and playing at "the cage," the cottage on Chautauqua Lake, "paddles" in the canoe and "jingle cruises" down the Chadakoin in Bob J's mahogany boat built by his dad, Church services, ballet, opera and special programs were special gifts at Chautauqua Institute that fed her soul. She and Bob J. loved crewing for hot air balloons and enjoyed many balloon flights with Jenny and Geoff. Marie and Bob J. were blessed with the caring and friendship of special kids, Jenny and Geoffrey Turner, the balloon pilots they crewed for. They loved snorkeling, scuba, hiking, and skiing, and especially dancing. Marie traveled extensively in both marriages and loved to learn about different people, areas, and cultures. Grand Cayman was a special treat for 25 years in the fall with Dad C., then Bob J., and often Jan. She loved the warmth of the Caymanian people. Marie loved her grand dog Phoo Phee too.
Marie felt most blessed and fortunate to have had two loving spouses and their families. Along with her loving 2nd husband, Marie is survived by; two children Barbara Ann Comstock and Jan Comstock; 3 stepchildren, Barbara (John) Busack, David (Sue Landis) Johnson, and Dr. Chuck (Kathy Pick) Johnson; her grandchildren, Diana Comstock, Jim (Keri) Comstock, John Jay Comstock, Rob Busack, Catie (Alex) Getty, Chris Johnson, Jamie Johnson, Matt Johnson, Daisuki Fujii, Dr. Yoko Fujii and Jyuzo Fujii and her adopted grandchildren Alex (Deb) Turner and Anna (Greg) Wu; her great grandchildren, Alyssia Taggerty, Matt Comstock, Kirsten Comstock, Allayna Comstock, Dresden Comstock, and Izzabella Comstock and her Japanese great grandchildren; a beloved brother Loren (Betty) Balduf; a special cousin, Milly (Jerry) Whittaker; nieces Patti (Royal) Smith, Donna (Larry) and Amy Stiles; nephew Jerry David Balduf; and a dear friend, Nancy Manko.
Along with her parents, and her loving first husband Marie was predeceased by a son John Comstock; brothers, Everett and Durward, and dear friends, Mandy and Beth Nye.
Friends and family will be received for an open house luncheon, at the Olean First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, followed by a Celebration of Marie's Life. The Rev. Bruce Levine, Pastor, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to The Comstock Center for the advancement of Hospice Care at 1225 West state Street, Olean, New York 14760, the Town of Olean Fire Department, for equipment needs, 1297 Old Rock City Road, Olean, New York 14760, to the Fannie Bartlett House and Museum Preservation Fund, established in honor of Marie and Bob Johnson, in care of, Mayor Bill Aiello at the Olean Municipal Building, 101 East State Street, Olean, New York 14760, or to a charity/cause close to your heart. Condolences to the family may be sent to the home at 1305 Kamery Road, Olean, New York 14760.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 E. State Street, Olean. A complete obituary will be published in the Times Herald. Online condolences may be made at www.LetroMcIntoshSpinkFuneralHome.com
The last years of her life the devotion of loving nieces Donna (Larry) and Amy Stiles was such a comfort to Marie, Bob and Jan as was the devotion of Jenny and Geoff Turner. The family would like to specially thank the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, who gave Marie respectful care and went above and beyond to provide for the family's needs.