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Gordon W. Sacks, assistant U.S. attorney, immigration law judge

March 25, 1920 – Sept. 15, 2016

Gordon W. Sacks, an attorney who spent much of his legal career handling immigration cases for the federal government, died Thursday in his Amherst home of complications from renal disease and heart problems. He was 96.

Mr. Sacks joined the Department of Justice in 1957, two years after earning a law degree from the University at Buffalo. He became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In 1974, he was appointed an INS administrative law judge and held that post until 1987.

He continued in private practice until 10 years ago, when he retired at 86. He remained a member of the Erie County Bar Association for the rest of his life.

Mr. Sacks was born in Buffalo and was a member of the first graduating class at School 74. He graduated from Lafayette High School in 1938 and was a life member of that school’s alumni association.

He was an assembly line worker at the Curtiss-Wright aircraft plant until he was inducted into the Army in 1943. He was sent to England and also served in France and Germany. In 1945, he was en route to the Pacific for the planned invasion of Japan when World War II ended.

After living briefly in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mr. Sacks returned home and enrolled at UB, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1953 before entering law school.

Mr. Sacks was a member of the Rotary Club of Buffalo for 50 years. He served two terms as a club director and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He was an adviser to the International Institute of Buffalo for more than 20 years.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Harriet Wing, and two sons, William and David.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday in Amherst Memorial Chapel, 281 Dodge Road.

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