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Donald L. Champagne, banker, veteran Oct. 17, 1915 -- Feb. 15, 2006

Donald L. Champagne, a retired Buffalo banker, died Feb. 15 in Magnolia Manor of St. Simons Island, Ga., where he had been a resident for the past 2 1/2 years. He was 90.

Born in Buffalo, he attended School 53, Fosdick-Masten Park High School, Buffalo State Teachers College and the University of Buffalo's Millard Fillmore College. He also attended the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Graduate School of Savings Banking at Brown University, where he became a faculty member.

Mr. Champagne began his banking career in 1937 as a teller at Buffalo Savings Bank and advanced to manager of the life insurance department in 1946 and personnel officer in 1948. He was elected corporate secretary in 1967, having served 15 years as treasurer. He retired in 1980.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces at the start of World War II and flew 22 missions as lead navigator with the 489th Bomb Group, based in England. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with clusters.

Mr. Champagne was an officer of the Savings Bank Association of New York State and a longtime member and former president of the Buffalo Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association. Appointed to the Buffalo City Planning Commission in 1977, he was named chairman in 1988.

Active in Scouting, he received the Silver Beaver Award for his work with the Iroquois District. He served as chairman, council commissioner and board member and was a staff member for national jamborees.

A devoted parishioner of Trinity Episcopal Church, he sang in the choir for more than 35 years and served as an usher and vestryman. .

His wife of 55 years, Betty Jane Jaster Champagne, died in 1996.

Surviving are two sons, John of Atlanta and Peter of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; a daughter, Nancy of St. Simons Island; and two grandchildren.

His ashes will be placed in Christ Chapel of Trinity Episcopal Church. Memorial services will be scheduled.


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