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Robert C. Schuh, 96, owned K-Val Hobbies

May 2, 1920 – April 16, 2017

Robert C. Schuh, of Kenmore, who owned and operated a North Buffalo hobby shop specializing in model trains for more than 40 years, died Sunday in the hospice unit at Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a short illness. He was 96.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Seneca Vocational High School and served in the Navy during World War II aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga in the Pacific. His letters home to his mother are being compiled for publication in a book.

Returning from service, he worked with a friend in a neighborhood grocery store at Box Avenue and Kehr Street on Buffalo’s East Side, then operated his own store for several years before going to work for his father’s company, Elmwood Pattern Works on Hinman Avenue, which made wooden patterns for machinery.

Mr. Schuh’s passion for model railroading began at the age of 7, when his father gave him his first train, and as an adult he filled his home with tracks and layouts.

His pastime became a full-time occupation in 1972, when he opened K-Val Hobbies in a small room in the back of Elmwood Pattern Works. Considered by some to be the best model train shop between Syracuse and Cleveland, it was a mecca for local and out-of-town enthusiasts.

He operated the business until December 2014, when he retired. Known for his generosity, he donated model railroad layouts to the family of a Kenmore police officer who died and to other families in need at Christmas.

Active in the former Glenwood Avenue Church of Christ for more than 70 years, he was an elder and served for many years as Sunday school superintendent. When the church closed, he attended the Tonawanda Church of Christ.

His wife of 72 years, the former Mary Jane Merck, died last June.

Survivors include a daughter, Charlotte Syroczynski; a son, Charles E.; a brother, David; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today in Carlton A. Ullrich Funeral Home, 3070 Delaware Ave., Kenmore.

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