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Philip J. Soisson, broadcaster, sports play-by-play announcer Oct. 5, 1923 Jan. 19, 2007

Philip J. Soisson, of the Town of Tonawanda, a Buffalo broadcaster, died Friday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda. He was 83.

Born in Connellsville, Pa., Mr. Soisson was an Army veteran of World War II and attended announcer's school after his discharge. He worked in broadcasting in Erie, Pa., and Pittsburgh before becoming a staff announcer for WBEN in 1953.

Mr. Soisson moved to WGR the next year and added duties as staff announcer at WGR television when it went on the air in 1954. He worked as a news and sports anchor there and also began working local sports broadcasts.

After doing play-by-play for the Buffalo Bisons baseball team from 1957 to 1963, Mr. Soisson did play-by-play for the first basketball game ever televised from St. Bonaventure University's Reilly Center in 1966. He was play-by-play voice of hockey's Buffalo Bisons in the team's final three years, ending in 1970, when they won the American Hockey League championship.

When the Buffalo Sabres opened up shop later that year, Mr. Soisson was the color analyst alongside longtime Sabres announcer Ted Darling.

He left broadcasting in 1970 to work as a publicity officer for M&T Bank. He and his wife later operated a Montgomery Ward catalog store in Clarence, and he also worked for the Internal Revenue Service.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Mary O'Leary; four daughters, Maggie Judd, Mary Wieser, Kate and Anne; and a son, Mark.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Amelia Catholic Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda.

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