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Joseph S. Strzyz, 79, owner and operator of Nortel Restaurant at 732 Hertel Ave. for more than 50 years and a combat veteran of World War II, died Friday (Sept. 3, 1999) at his residence after a brief illness.

Born in Buffalo's Black Rock section, Strzyz graduated from St. John the Baptist School and what is now Hutchinson-Central Technical High School.

During World War II, he served in Italy with an Army Mountain Division.

At the end of World War II, he and his wife, the former Jane V. Sobieszkoda, took over the management of his father's popular Black Rock tavern, Nortel's. He quickly became known for his sense of humor and as a master of one-liners.

One of his daughters, Barbara A. Rose of the Town of Tonawanda, started helping him manage the business 25 years ago and will continue to run it. His wife of 52 years died in 1996.

Strzyz, who lived in quarters above the tavern, enjoyed spending time at his cottage in Crystal Beach, Ont., and vacationing in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills.

He was a member of the Innkeepers Association of Western New York.

Survivors include two other daughters, Paula of the Town of Tonawanda and Sandra Zion of Williamsville; a brother, Edward of the Town of Tonawanda; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Florian's Catholic Church, 569 Hertel Ave. Entombment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.


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