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Robert D. Raczka, union painter, Navy veteran

May 14, 1956 – Aug. 31, 2016

NIAGARA FALLS – Robert D. Raczka, of the Town of Niagara, a union painter, died Wednesday in Niagara Hospice, Lockport, after a brief illness. He was 60.

Born in Jacksonville, Fla., he came to the area with his family as a child, attended local schools and served in the Navy from 1980 to 1982.

Mr. Raczka worked with the Painters and Allied Trades International Union District Council 4 in Buffalo, rigging and painting bridges in the area.

He was honored by law enforcement agencies for his efforts to save two boys from the Niagara Gorge by rappelling down to secure them until rescuers could arrive.

An avid sports fan, he was a state archery champion. He enjoyed playing darts, working on home projects and vacationing annually in the Florida Keys.

Surviving are his companion of 26 years, Barbara Brusino; a son, Robert Roberts; his parents, Robert R. and Diana Reger; two brothers, Daniel and David J.; two sisters, Wendy Nagy and Cara Burton; four step-sisters, Diane Huntington, Connie Gosselin, Robin Ripple and Joanne Huntington; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial, followed by military honors, will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Vincent de Paul Parish at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, 2748 Military Road.

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