Donald A. Heath Jr., a retired broadcasting executive who served as president of the Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce, died Saturday in the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Cheektowaga, after a brief illness. The Williamsville resident was 79.
The Elmira native graduated from Amherst Central High School. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.
Mr. Heath founded Heath Concert Productions, promoting shows by such entertainers as Pearl Bailey, Dinah Shore and Della Reese.
He served as a legislative assistant to Assemblyman G. James Fremming, D-Amherst, during the 1970s.
Mr. Heath's volunteer work at WNED-TV led him to serve as chairman of Channel 17's Great TV Auction in 1980 and 1981. Several years later, he was hired by the Western New Public Broadcasting Association as director of special events. He was affectionately known as the "auction guru" and coordinated many other activities. He retired in 2001 after 14 years in the position.
As president of the Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce, he was key in landing a national convention that attracted 10,000 Jaycees to the region. The group elected him as its state vice president and presented him with its highest award.
Mr. Heath also was international president of the Gyro International Club, served on the board of Hospice Buffalo and was chairman of the Dunlop Pro-Am Dinner for two years in the 1980s.
He is survived by his wife, the former Beverly Meyer; two daughters, Cynthia McNally and Deborah Wyrobek; and a sister, Delores Laird.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Mary's Catholic Church, 6919 Transit Road, Swormville.