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Edward J. Bozek, decorated WWII vet, softball star

June 13, 1920 – May 9, 2015

Edward J. Bozek, a World War II veteran and Legion of Honor Medal award recipient who was a member of the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame, died May 9 at The Courtyards Adult Care Facility in Hamburg after an extended illness. He was 94.

Born in Buffalo, he spent his childhood helping care for his ailing mother and caring for five siblings.

In September 1943, he married Rose Sosin.

The day after his marriage, he was given orders for overseas duty. He said, “I was so young and scared like everyone else.” But he faced his fears head-on in the Battle of the Bulge and Normandy. His bravery was acknowledged by receiving the Silver Star, as well as being named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

The Legion of Honor medal is given by the French government, the highest honor for World War II vets.

Mr. Bozek was an avid baseball player and a member of the Softball Hall of Fame. He had an opportunity to play for the major leagues, but decided not to pursue a life that would have taken him away from his family.

His wife of 59 years died in March 2003.

Survivors include two sons, Edward A. and Daniel; a daughter, Barbara Cracchiolo; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home, 2047 Broadway, Sloan.

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