A memorial service for Dale J. Sowinski, a lifelong resident of Western New York, will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, 695 Elmwood Ave.
Mr. Sowinski, of Buffalo, died unexpectedly Sunday in his Ellicottville home. He was 55.
A passionate sailor and skier, he spent summers on Lake Erie and winters on the slopes of Ellicottville.
When he wasn't enjoying the outdoors, Mr. Sowinski would find something -- anything -- to renovate, according to his wife of 33 years, Margaret.
"He was able to transform things to their true beauty with his talent," she said. "He accumulated a lot of sweat equity, and yet he still had time to have fun."
Mr. Sowinski worked at a number of positions in management and sales throughout his career at companies including
Leaseway Transportation, Independent Concrete and Volkswagen of America. He was known for his attention to detail as well as his zest for life.
"Our family always said that the party didn't start until Dad got there," said his daughter, Erin of Buffalo.
Mr. Sowinski, who cherished the ballads of Bob Dylan, always found time to help neighbors, whether it was renovating outdoor patios, raking leaves or chopping down pine trees.
Mr. Sowinski, who was raised in Kaisertown, was a talented photographer whose framed pictures decorate the family home. A member of the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club and past commodore of Hobie Fleet 119, he participated in the Wednesday night races and had just purchased a 38-foot sailboat.
He was a board member of the Ellicottville Skiing Club.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Sowinski is survived by a son, Jonathan of Long Island.