Frederick J. Wesolowski, former president and business manager of Roofers Union Local 74, died Friday in his Cheektowaga home. He was 88.
Born in Buffalo, one of 12 children, he grew up on the East Side and worked as a shoeshine boy at the Central Terminal while attending St. Stanislaus School. As a teen, he worked in the parks with the Civilian Conservation Corps and served in the Army in World War II as a military policeman in India.
Returning from service, Mr. Wesolowski studied cosmetology under the GI Bill, then owned and operated Fred's Beauty Salon on the East Side in the 1950s and 1960s.
After selling his business, he moved to Cheektowaga and worked as a roofer and roofing foreman until he retired in 1990. He served for many years as president and business manager of the Roofers Union and negotiated several union contracts. A forceful advocate for workers, he was a member of the Buffalo AFL-CIO Council.
Mr. Wesolowski was a weightlifter in the 1940s and competed for the Mr. Buffalo title. He was an avid runner before it became a popular pastime, took up skiing in his 50s and was an avid bowler at the Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga.
He also was noted for his singing voice. He was a member of the choir at St. Joseph's Cathedral for 25 years, sang with the Buffalo Opera Chorus and was a longtime member of the Chopin Singing Society, where he was a featured soloist. He also volunteered to sing at funerals at local Catholic churches.
Surviving are his wife of 62 years, the former Dolores Pelczynski; two sons, William and James; two daughters, Judith Nicotra-Parker and Marcy Green; and two sisters, Lucy Wojciechowski and Rita Rogalski.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga.