Richard J. Roth, who ran the popular Cozy Corner at Routes 39 and 240 in Springville for many years, died Friday (Feb. 16, 2001) in his Springville home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 65.
Born in Blasdell, Roth was a graduate of Our Mother of Good Counsel School. He worked at Dairy Island, a milk processing plant on South Park Avenue, before enlisting in the Army. He was a member of the Military Police at the time of his discharge in 1957.
He worked briefly for Peerless Windsmith in Springville and for the South Buffalo Railway in Lackawanna before building the Cozy Corner.
He and his wife, the former Alice Heidel, operated R&R French Custard in East Concord before building the Cozy Corner as a seasonal ice cream, hamburger and hot dog business, in 1968.
"From the beginning," Mrs. Roth said, "this was the local place for everyone to meet."
In time, the Roths remodeled the Cozy Corner, creating a year-round coffee shop with a counter and dining area.
"Dick's humor and wit brought laughter, and customers quickly became friends and members of the 'Cozy Corner family circle,' " his wife recalled.
In 1990, Roth added gas pumps and a convenience store to the Cozy Corner property, leasing the restaurant and running the store with his wife and a son.
He sold the business in 1996 and began working in maintenance at Darien Lake in the summer and the Buffalo Ski Club in the winter.
The Roths were members of the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association and owned and raced standardbreds at Hamburg and Batavia.
He was an outdoorsman and enjoyed snowmobiling, flying and driving in demolition cars at the Holland and Hamburg tracks.
Survivors, besides his wife of 42 years, include three sons, Richard of West Valley and Randy and Robert, both of Springville; twin foster children, Kevin Carter of Springville and Karen Miller of East Concord; two sisters, Eileen Switzer of Blasdell and Marion Hackett of Northport, Fla.; and eight grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Monday in St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Springville. Burial was in Mount Hope Cemetery, West Valley.