John T. Maccarone, a retired Depew police chief, died Friday in Green Fields Health and Rehabilitation Center in Lancaster. He was 79.
A Rochester native, Mr. Maccarone moved to the Buffalo area as a child. He graduated from Depew and Lancaster public schools.
He served with the Army in the South Pacific from 1946 to 1948.
In 1954, he joined the Depew Police Department. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1960, and in 1965, he started the department's detective bureau, becoming its first captain in 1971.
On two separate occasions, Mr. Maccarone, off-duty and without a gun, caught suspects.
But his family said his most memorable case involved a white Cadillac and the rape of three children in 1966. A composite put together by Maccarone led to an arrest and conviction.
A past president of the Erie County Association of Chiefs of Police, Mr. Maccarone was recognized by the Erie County Bar Association as the "Outstanding Suburban Police Officer of 1974."
He was chief of police from 1977 until his retirement in 1994.
His wife of 54 years, the former Dolores Helms, died in 2004.
Survivors include a daughter, Linda VanNortwick, and three sisters, Madeline Greenberg, Jeanne Stall and Phyllis Watlack.
Prayers will be said at 8:45 a.m. today in Amigone Funeral Home, 6050 Transit Road, Depew, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 10 French Road, Depew.