Doris E. Siel­ski, 92, pi­o­neer­ing phar­ma­cist took part in Women’s Health Ini­tia­tive

The Buffalo News - - STATE NEWS - Dec. 30, 1926 — March 20, 2019 By Anne Neville NEWS STAFF RE­PORTER

Doris E. (Link) Siel­ski, a pi­o­neer­ing fe­male phar­ma­cist, con­trib­uted to the health field in a much more per­sonal way.

She was a vol­un­teer par­tic­i­pant in the Women’s Health Ini­tia­tive, a longterm Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health study of women that be­gan in 1993.

“It was the first study they did to see the effects of hor­mone ther­apy on women after menopause,” said her daugh­ter Martha Op­per. “And my mother said she was do­ing that for us.”

“She al­ways knew it was not for her ben­e­fit, it was for us and her grand­daugh­ters,” said her other daugh­ter, Lucy Miller. In her later years, Mrs. Siel­ski suf­fered many of the side effects of hor­mone treat­ments that were de­tected by the study, her daugh­ters said.

Mrs. Siel­ski, of Wil­liamsville, died March 20, 2019, in Broth­ers of Mercy in Clarence, where she had lived for two weeks. She was 92.

She was born in Syra­cuse, the daugh­ter of Ray­mond and Donella (Clarke) Link. She and her twin, Dorothy, be­came the big sis­ters of Mar­jorie, Janet and Robert.

Mrs. Siel­ski grad­u­ated from Pur­due Univer­sity in 1948 with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in phar­macy, one of a small num­ber of fe­male stu­dents in her class, her daugh­ters said. “There were a few other women in her class, but they were def­i­nitely in the mi­nor­ity,” said Martha Op­per.

“My mother was al­ways a trail­blazer,” said Lucy Miller.

At Pur­due, she met her fu­ture hus­band, Steven Siel­ski of Buf­falo, who also grad­u­ated with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in phar­macy. The two were mar­ried Feb. 19, 1949, in her home parish in Syra­cuse, then moved to West­ern New York.

The fam­ily lived on Lafayette Boule­vard in Amherst for some 60 years as their children Stan­ley, Martha, Lucy, Ray­mond, Ben­jamin and Paul joined the fam­ily.

Mrs. Siel­ski earned her New York State phar­macy li­cense in 1948 and held it un­til 2004. Her first job was in the phar­macy at Mil­lard Fill­more Hos­pi­tal on Gates Cir­cle, where she com­pounded med­i­ca­tions, her daugh­ters said.

Then, after hav­ing “four children in a row,” Martha Op­per said, Mrs. Siel­ski re­sumed part-time work at Soby’s Phar­macy in Buf­falo and later at a branch in Cheek­towaga.

After that, she worked part-time at Glen Phar­macy and Main Vil­lage Phar­macy in Wil­liamsville, fol­lowed by Har­ris Hill Phar­macy and Get­zville Phar­macy. The Siel­skis knew the own­ers of the small, pri­vately owned phar­ma­cies, their daugh­ters said, so she could work when she was needed.

Mrs. Siel­ski’s hus­band was a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal rep for Eli Lilly who vis­ited doc­tors’ of­fices. “My fa­ther and my mother were a great com­bi­na­tion,” said Lucy Miller. With their com­mon pro­fes­sional back­ground and di­verse daily ex­pe­ri­ences, they had a lot to talk about at home, their daugh­ters said.

A de­vout Catholic, Mrs. Siel­ski was a long­time mem­ber of SS. Peter and Paul Church in Wil­liamsville and its St. Ann’s So­dal­ity. She hosted a weekly Bi­ble study in her home for mem­bers of the Chris­tian Women’s Club of Amherst.

She was also a board mem­ber of the Na­tional Al­liance for the Men­tally Ill and be­longed to the Phar­ma­cists As­so­ci­a­tion of West­ern New York.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Siel­ski loved opera and trav­eled to New York, Toronto and Chau­tauqua for per­for­mances. She was a mem­ber of the Opera Buffs of West­ern New York. She was also a mem­ber of the Pol­ish Arts Club.

An avid skier, Mrs. Siel­ski be­longed to the Buf­falo and Con­cord ski clubs and en­cour­aged her grand­chil­dren, nieces and neph­ews to learn to ski. The fam­ily took sev­eral ski va­ca­tions to­gether, her daugh­ters said, part of their mother’s in­ter­est in en­cour­ag­ing them to stay close.

In the 1960s, Mrs. Siel­ski was a Girl Scout leader in Wil­liamsville.

A mem­ber of the Pur­due Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion, Mrs. Siel­ski wel­comed Pur­due stu­dents and alumni into her home, her daugh­ters said. “She was pas­sion­ate about Pur­due Univer­sity, and she was al­ways happy to meet Pur­due grad­u­ates,” said Lucy Miller. The fam­ily at­tended many Boil­er­mak­ers foot­ball games, her daugh­ters said.

Mrs. Siel­ski’s hus­band, Steven Siel­ski, died in 2015.

Be­sides her daugh­ters, she is sur­vived by her sons, Stan­ley, Ray­mond, Ben­jamin and Paul Siel­ski; a sis­ter, Janet Frazer; a brother, Dr. Robert Zim­mer, and five grand­chil­dren.

A Mass of Chris­tian Burial will be of­fered at 9:30 a.m. Tues­day at SS. Peter and Paul Church, 5480 Main St., Wil­liamsville.

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