Dec. 9, 1920 – Oct. 19, 2013
Ettore C. Porreca, a professional photographer acclaimed for his wedding portraits and his photos of postwar Japan, died Saturday in his West Seneca home. He was 92.
Born in Torricella Peligna, Italy, he came to Buffalo with his family in December 1929 and was a 1939 graduate of Seneca Vocational High School, where he studied photography.
During World War II, Mr. Porreca served 2½ years with the Army as a motion picture combat photographer. Attached to the British Army, he captured the British forces on film as they retook Burma from the Japanese. He also was with the 98th Division in the first wave of occupation after the Japanese surrender. Stationed in Osaka, his assignments took him all over Japan.
His still photographs of post-war Japan, which can be viewed online at www.ettoreinjapan.com, have been exhibited in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Arts Center and the Buffalo History Museum. A cover story about Mr. Porreca and those photographs appeared in The Buffalo News Magazine in 1985. One photo will appear in a forthcoming biography of Douglas MacArthur.
From 1950 until 1982, Mr. Porreca and a high school classmate, Ralph Winter, operated the Ettore-Winter Photographers studio on Seneca Street in South Buffalo. Mr. Porreca’s bridal portraits, enlarged to poster size and displayed in the upscale Tegler’s shop on Delaware Avenue from the 1950s to the 1970s, were the subject of a special program last March in the Buffalo History Museum after he rediscovered them in his basement and sought to identify the brides to give them the photos.
He gained national recognition and numerous awards for his work, including the titles of Master of Photography and Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America.
Also a musician, Mr. Porreca started playing trumpet in sixth grade and began playing professionally while he was still in high school, performing in the city’s leading nightclubs.
He returned to music when he retired, primarily jazz from the Big Band era. He played trumpet and sang with the Sentimental Journey Band, the QuakerTones and the Happy Timers.
He also enjoyed playing golf and was a sports fan. A voracious reader of history and politics, he was admired for his remarkable memory and ability to share his experiences.
He volunteered at Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center for more than 26 years and was a member of Queen of Heaven Parish and the West Seneca Rotary Club.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, the former Louise Nazzarett; three sons, Joseph, James and Daniel; and a daughter, Mary Beth Andreozzi.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:15 a.m. Thursday in Queen of Heaven Church, 4220 Seneca St., West Seneca.