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Francis V. Pahl, art director for "Talking Proud" campaign

July 19, 1946 – Feb. 26, 2017

Francis V. Pahl, of Pendleton, an advertising executive and owner of an advertising consulting firm, died Sunday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. He was 70.

Born in Buffalo, he attended St. Agnes School and was a 1964 graduate of Hutchinson Central Technical High School. He earned an associate’s degree from Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica and a bachelor’s degree in graphic production and communication from the University at Buffalo in 1969.

Mr. Pahl worked on many major accounts locally as junior art director, partner and creative director with agencies such as Comstock, Rich Advertising, Healy-Schutte & Co., Mel Epstein, the Ellis Singer Group and the Schutte Group.

Likely his best-known effort was his collaboration with Alden Schutte on the immensely popular “Talking Proud” campaign, for which he was art director. An image-boosting effort commissioned by the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce in the early 1980s, it featured a ubiquitous logo and an unforgettable song.

He also led notable advertising campaigns for Western New York United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse (the Business Partnership to Knock Out Drug & Alcohol Abuse) and for Child and Adolescent Treatment Services.

He received many local, regional and national awards for his creative and marketing work.

In 1996, his success led him to establish his own hybrid agency, Pahl Associates, which catered to emerging technologies and repositioned more traditional clients. He also worked as a consultant for regional agencies and for national agencies in New York City and Chicago.

In recent years, he was semi-retired.

From 1970 to 1976, he was a member of the Army National Guard, serving as a military police sergeant specializing in security and counseling prisoners incarcerated by the Army.

In the 1980s, with tongue in cheek, he formed the Fran Pahl Memorial Hockey League, which continues to meet every Thursday night to play.

With his wife and daughter, he established Clover Ridge Farm in Pendleton, which provides equine care, training and breeding of Arabian horses.

The family has taken part in competitions across the U.S. and Canada and has won numerous championship trophies.

A Williamsville resident before moving to Pendleton in 2005, he was a former member of the Town of Pendleton Conservation Board.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, the former Maria K. Proulx; a daughter, Aimee R.; a brother, Rupert; and a grandson.

Friends will gather in his memory 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst. A service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday in the funeral home.

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