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John J. Czajka Jr., retired Cheektowaga policeman

Sept. 18, 1927 – July 15, 2016

John J. Czajka Jr., who served as a police officer in the Town of Cheektowaga for 31 years, died Friday at his home in Cheektowaga after a short illness. He was 88.

Czajka was born in Buffalo and dropped out of Emerson High School at age 16 to enter the Army during World War II. However, the war ended before he was sent overseas, his daughter Valerie said.

After he was discharged from the Army, Mr. Czajka graduated from Bennett High School. He worked for four years as a railroad apprentice before changing careers and joining the Cheektowaga Police Department in 1953. He retired as a lieutenant in 1984.

“He really enjoyed life,” Valerie said. Travel was a favorite pastime, especially jaunts to the Caribbean, where he and his wife visited most of the islands at one time or another. There also was plenty of domestic travel, too.

“He loved Las Vegas,” Valerie said.

Mr. Czajka was an avid golfer and was on the course as recently as three weeks ago. He also was a member of Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 2692 in Depew, the Police Captains and Lieutenants associations of Cheektowaga and Erie County and the Cheektowaga Police League, to which he belonged for 60 years.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, the former Irene Muszynski; his daughter, Valerie; and two grandsons.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Monday at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 950 Losson Road, Cheektowaga.

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