It is with great sadness that the family of Elaine T. Blyden announced her passing, on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the age of 80 years. Elaine was a true Buffalonian. Having never moved from her hometown, her life’s work was to make the City of Buffalo a better place, especially for children in Buffalo’s Black communities.
Elaine was a servant leader. She gave tirelessly of herself in many capacities including, Managing Editor of the Buffalo Challenger Newspaper, District Office Staff Director for Deputy NYS Assembly Speaker Arthur O. Eve, numerous roles including Board President at her life-long church community, The Lutheran Church of Our Savior, and numerous organization boards and committees. A believer in political empowerment and self-determination, Elaine was a political observer during the Attica uprising in 1971, a Delegate at the historic 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, and worked on many local, state, and national political campaigns. Elaine was most recently the retired President and CEO of the Bob Lanier Center for Educational, Physical and Cultural Development, Inc. She was most proud of her more than 20 years work with the youth of ” The Bob,” as the kids called it.
She was the “mom to the community,” as several thousand youth moved successfully through the program during her tenure, many of whom credit her with literally saving their lives. As much as Elaine was an ever present voice in the public struggle to gain resources for the city’s children, she was equally present at home and in the neighborhoods in which she lived.
During the years in which she raised her daughter Kelly on Cambridge Ave, her house was the center focus for all of the neighborhood children. Years later her home on Landon Ave became the center of community for her son Malik’s neighborhood friends. She was truly the mighty oak of the community, providing fun, shade and comfort to all.
She also played the role of confidant within her family, supporting many nieces and nephews through trying times. Elaine will be lovingly remembered by her children Kelly (Paulette) Clark of Binghamton, NY, Malik (Sophia) Blyden, and Herbert Jr. (Pamela) Blyden of Buffalo, NY.
Left to honor her memory are also six grandchildren, Mikal, Cela, Eryn, Aquera, Herbie, and Cordney, her siblings, Judith, Dennis, and Barry Clark, sisters-in-law Connie Sparks Clark, Pat and Daisy Clark, a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and many many friends. Elaine was predeceased by her husband Herbert Blyden, brother David Clark, and mother and father, Thelma Amelia and William Lawrence Clark.
Home going services were held on Tuesday, October 2, at 12 The Lutheran Church of Our Savior, 26 Brunswick Blvd, in Buffalo. Burial followed at Elmlawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Elaine T. Blyden Fund – Buffalo Youth Click Image or link below to make your donation