Mr. and Mrs. Charles Erbsmehl

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Erbsmehl of Fredonia recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a dinner for family and close friends at their home.

Mr. Erbsmehl and the former Shirley Miller were married Jan. 26, 1957, at St. Andrews Evangelical and Reformed Church in Buffalo. He served in the United States Army in Korea from 1953 to 1955.

They met at SUNY Fredonia where he was studying under the G.I. Bill and she was studying Elementary Education. They relocated to the Buffalo area in 1960, he becoming a Registered Piano Technician in the Western New York Area and she an elementary school teacher in the Lancaster Central School District.

In 1990, they moved to Fredonia where Chuck continued his piano work for a number of years, often donating his time and expertise in tuning and repairing pianos and pump organs to organizations and churches in the area. He has remained active with the Piano Technicians Guild for 50 years. He enjoyed playing in the All-College Band at SUNY Fredonia for 21 years and in the New Horizons Band for 10 years.

His love of music, especially in playing the baritone horn, began at the age of 10 and over the years he has played with the Lancaster Town Band, Shrine Band, West Seneca Town Band, and Cassadaga Concert Band.

Shirley retired in 1991 and was immediately hired by SUNY Fredonia to supervise Elementary Education students in their practice teaching experiences. At the same time, piecing and quilting became a self-taught art, and over the years, she has made more than 1,000 quilts for beds, wall hangings, clothing, toys, and particularly “comfort quilts,” given as gifts to individuals of all ages. For the past 12 years, she has enjoyed being a driver safety instructor for AARP, and once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, will resume teaching classes.

One of their happiest times was at Christmas when they would become Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and visit the homes of anyone who requested a visit on Christmas Eve. This fun event began when their grandson was 1 year old, prior to moving to Fredonia, and continued for 28 more years. Shirley made their costumes, even down to fur-trimmed boots, a band of jingle bells, and a sack which held candy canes for all of the children. Chuck also visited schools and nursing homes in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

They have one daughter, Barb Faxlanger, son-in-law Joe Faxlanger, and two grandchildren, Andrew and Emily Keddie.


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