A Mass of Christian Burial for Walter E. Krakowiak, 76, of Cheektowaga, former president of Black Rock Savings & Loan and a combat veteran of World War II, will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday in Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.
The Buffalo native died unexpectedly Thursday (Feb. 22, 2001) in St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga.
He graduated from St. Francis High School in 1943 and entered the Army when he was 18. He served with the 102nd Infantry Division in Europe and received the Purple Heart Medal for being wounded in combat.
Krakowiak left his family a memento of his wartime experiences in a short book he wrote called "Ozark Memories."
He was employed at Black Rock Savings & Loan for 40 years and was president of the banking institution when it merged with Key Bank of Western New York. He retired as a consultant after the merger.
Krakowiak was a founder of the Black Rock Neighborhood Housing Association and was known for helping people obtain affordable housing. He was honored by the association last September for his services to the community.
He was a student of history and was proud of his Polish heritage. He served on the board of directors of the Polish Cadets of Buffalo and was a delegate to the Polish American Congress. He was named a "Citizen of the Year" by the Am-Pol Eagle in 1990.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Irene A. Koperski; two daughters, Margaret of Nashville, Tenn., and Barbara Borowski of Buffalo; four sons, Peter of Glenmoore, Pa., Timothy of Geneva, N.Y., and Theodore and Philip, both of Nashville; a sister, Cecelia Wesolowski of Cheektowaga; a brother, Robert of Cheektowaga; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandson.