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David M. Spinda, GM electrician, judo instructor Aug. 13, 1941 -- April 9, 2012

David M. Spinda, a retired electrician for General Motors, a judo instructor and a neighborhood activist, died Monday in his Buffalo home after a short illness. He was 70.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1960 graduate of Seneca Vocational High School and served in the Air Force in the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of sergeant.

A Riverside resident for more than 50 years, Mr. Spinda worked as an electrician at the GM Saginaw Division plant for 34 years, retiring in 1996.

He also was co-owner of the Manson Judo Club and a sensei who had earned a fourth-degree black belt and taught self-defense at Buffalo State College and Erie Community College North.

Mr. Spinda was a deputy with the Erie County Sheriff's Office, serving in special operations on the Underwater Recovery Team. He also was a drug lecturer for the Sheriff's Office, vice president of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Buffalo Police Department and court liaison for the City of Buffalo Housing Department.

He served as president of the United Streets Block Club Association and was a member of the Crime Prevention Association of Western New York, the Black Rock-Riverside Good Neighbors Planning Alliance, the Riverside Businessmen's Association and the Loyal Order of Moose. He also was a member of All Saints Catholic Church.

He was a recipient of a Hero Award from the Buffalo Common Council and the R.B.A. Karen Cameron Community Service Award in 1997.

Surviving are his wife of 49 years, the former Donna Bielicki; two sons, David M. Jr. and Derrick M.; a daughter, Darlene M. Shafer; and two sisters, Caryl Lowery and Donna Seibert.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in All Saints Church, 205 Esser Ave.

[anderson]