Ann Billittier and daughter Mary Beth.
SARASOTA, FL - Just one day before Mother's Day, Ann Billittier, co-owner of the landmark Chef's Italian Restaurant in Buffalo, has passed away. She was 83.
She helped build Chef's into one of the area's most successful restaurants with husband Lou Billittier, who died in 2000 after almost 50 years of marriage. The couple first met in grammar school in the Seneca Street neighborhood where they would later open Chef's.
In fact, she took sole responsibility for the restaurant -- and raising the couple's growing family -- while her husband was serving in the military during the Korean War.
Chef's grew into a favorite haunt of local politicians and noteworthies and has been a fixture of the Seneca Street neighborhood on the edge of downtown Buffalo for decades.
After her husband's passing, she founded the Louis J. Billittier Foundation, which continued the charitable work that had always been a special passion of the couple. The foundation supports various groups including Buffalo Hearing and Speech, Bornhava, the Variety Club of Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Her daughter, Mary Beth, son Louis John Billittier, and other close family members were at her side when she died in the Tidewell Hospice facility in Sarasota after a brief illness.
Her children continue the family tradition as the operators of Chef's Restaurant.
According to a statement released by the family on Saturday night, funeral arrangements are being made through Lakeside Funeral Home in Hamburg.