Aug. 19, 1931 – Jan. 7, 2014
Roman Zabinski, longtime owner of Kolano Funeral Home and an avid photographer, died Tuesday in ElderWood at Amherst after a brief illness. He was 82.
A Buffalo native, Mr. Zabinski graduated from Albright Art School and Simmons School of Mortuary Science.
Mr. Zabinski began his career in funeral services in 1955, working for his in-laws, Frank and Josephine Pacer.
In 1977, he moved to Black Rock, where he purchased Kolano Funeral Home.
He retired partially in 1994, when his son, David, began overseeing operations at the funeral home.
An avid photographer, his works have been printed in “Photography at Mid-Century” and “The Photographer’s Eye” – both published by the Museum of Modern Art. His work also has been exhibited at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Artsphere Studio & Gallery.
Mr. Zabinski also was an active member of the Patterson Art Society, and a collection of his photos is in the permanent collection of the George Eastman House and Burchfield Penney Art Gallery.
In 1979, he was granted special clearance to take photos of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
He was a founding member and scoutmaster of Troop 259 at St. Luke’s Catholic Church and served on the Troop Committee of Assumption Church and on the board of Dom Polski. He was a volunteer for St. Vincent de Paul Society and was a member of the Assumption Holy Name Society, the Grant-Amherst Business Association, Polish Cadets and Erie-Niagara Funeral Directors Association.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Marcella Pacer; a son, David; and four daughters, Tanya, Nina Gormley, Julie Zabinski-Smith and Amy “Rio” Ross.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Assumption Catholic Church, 435 Amherst St.