Aug. 25, 1924 – Dec. 31, 2015
Irene S. Wolasz, of Buffalo, who helped operate concessions and catering in the Connecticut Street Armory, died unexpectedly Dec. 31 in Buffalo General Medical Center. She was 91.
Born in Buffalo, the former Irene Klimeczko was a graduate of South Park High School. She assisted her husband, Leopold, a career soldier who served more than 20 years in the Army, in his work as steward at the Connecticut Street Armory in the 1960s and 1970s.
A life member of the AMVETS Auxiliary, Mrs. Wolasz served in offices on the local, county, state and national levels for many years.
She also was a life member of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and a charter member of the World War II Memorial Museum.
Her husband died in 1977 and two years later, she moved to their summer home at Caroga Lake in the Adirondacks. In 1985, she moved to Tallahassee, Fla., where she lived until she returned to Buffalo in 1998.
In Florida, Mrs. Wolasz became associated with Native American peoples. She took part in ceremonies, did drumming, was adopted by an Apache tribe as a revered Unci (grandmother) and was given a Native name – Spirit Walker. She attended a National Sundance in North Dakota in 1992.
She also was involved with senior citizens groups in Buffalo, Caroga Lake and Tallahassee.
Survivors include two daughters, Elizabeth and Susan Kafer; a son, Michael; two sisters, Helen Kuehn and Lorraine Coonrod; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Thursday in St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church, 157 Cleveland Drive, Cheektowaga.