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Richard N. Blewett, 91, Buffalo attorney practiced 65 years

Dec. 13, 1925 – March 12, 2017

Richard N. Blewett, a Buffalo attorney for more than 65 years, died March 12 in Mercy Hospital after a brief illness. He was 91.

Born in Buffalo, the youngest of five children, he attended Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School and was a 1942 graduate of Lafayette High School.

Unable to enlist in the Navy officers training program because he wore glasses, he was drafted into the Army in 1944 and served in France during World War II. Severely wounded by a land mine while carrying an injured fellow soldier to safety, he spent two years in Army hospitals. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Returning to Buffalo, he completed a bachelor’s degree at Canisius College and graduated from the University of Buffalo Law School.

Mr. Blewett joined the law firm of Cohen and Lombardo in 1951, specialized in liability and insurance cases, and was affiliated with the firm until his death.

A resident of South Wales for many years, he served as town attorney for the Town of Wales from 1968 to 1990.

He was a past president of the Canisius College Alumni Association, the Catholic Lawyers Guild (now the St. Thomas More Guild), the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo and the Erie County Bar Association.

He did volunteer work for Catholic Charities, the United Way, the Kiwanis Club of Wales, Neighborhood Legal Services, the Cantilician Center for Learning and the Cantilician Foundation.

“Anything you needed, you always called Dick,” his nephew, Patrick, said. “He was the rock. He was a wonderful man.”

The Erie County Bar Association honored him with its Lawyer of the Year Award in 1996 and its Civility Award in 2009. Canisius College presented him with the LaSalle Medal, its highest alumni award.

His wife of 54 years, the former Barbara Jean Burkhardt, died in 2007.

Survivors include a daughter, Jane K. Beard; two sons, Thomas R. and John J.; and 10 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered March 20 in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1029 Delaware Ave.

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