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Joseph F. Sinkewicz Jr., lawyer for the disadvantaged in Buffalo

June 18, 1954 – May 5, 2016

Joseph F. Sinkewicz Jr., of Buffalo, a lawyer who represented disadvantaged and low-income clients, died May 5 in HighPointe on Michigan of complications from multiple sclerosis. He was 61.

Born in Scranton, Pa., he grew up in Wellsboro, Pa., and Corning, where he graduated from high school. As a youth, he was an altar boy, Eagle Scout, assistant scoutmaster and a runner-up for a National Merit Scholarship.

Inspired by the counterculture and social activism of the 1960s and ’70s, he hitchhiked throughout the United States and Canada after he graduated from the University at Buffalo, where he was an English major with a focus on media studies.

A protest activist who supported the repeal of anti-marijuana laws, he considered himself a yippie. He was a co-founder of the Cold Spring Warehouse, a yippie collective house in a partly occupied commercial building in a former fraternal lodge at Fillmore and Leroy avenues. The third-floor ballroom was a venue for concerts for a variety of performers, including David Bromberg in 1977.

Mr. Sinkewicz graduated from UB Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1991. He set up an individual practice in Buffalo’s Broadway-Fillmore section, assisting needy clients, many of them in real estate cases.

An avid reader, he enjoyed gourmet food, movies, art and a wide variety of music. He often was seen riding his bike in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.

Survivors include his father, Joseph Sr.; his stepmother, Lucinda; a sister, Linda; and a brother, Robert Sinkiewicz.

A memorial service is being planned for June.

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