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Joseph S. Occhino, 89, of Hamburg, a grocer and businessman who worked on the East Side for almost 70 years, died Thursday (Oct. 24, 1996) in Our Lady of Victory Hospital.

A Buffalo native, he started working in his father's grocery business at age 12, before opening his own business in several locations on the East Side. He worked there until his retirement at age 80.

Occhino served as a Democratic Party committeeman in the city's 4th Ward and was a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus on Delaware Avenue and a 25-year member of the Lakeshore Lions.

He was a parishioner at St. Lucy's and St. Columba's churches, before joining St. Mary's of the Lake Church in Hamburg, where he was active in the building fund, bingo and the Holy Name Society.

His hobbies included gardening and photography. He was a longtime blood donor.

He was married to the former Rose Savarino who died.

Surviving are one daughter, Josephine Paolini of East Amherst; two sons, Frederick of Hamburg and John of Akron, Ohio; one sister, Anna Colucci; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in St. Mary's of the Lake Church after prayers at 9:30 in Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home on Lakeshore Road. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

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