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Norbert E. "Norman" Barnekow, 86, roofing and sheet metal contractor

Jan. 14, 1931 – June 27, 2017

Norbert E. “Norman” Barnekow, of Cheektowaga, a retired roofing and sheet metal contractor whose work can be seen in the Darwin Martin complex, died Tuesday in Garden Gate Health Care Facility, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Barnekow grew up on Grape Street in the Fruit Belt and was a 1949 graduate of McKinley High School, where he was a high-scoring standout on the basketball team.

He worked for Max Reed Sheet Metal and Roofing for 20 years, then opened his own business, Norm Barnekow Sheet Metal and Roofing in Cheektowaga, in 1975. He retired in 2006.

Mr. Barnekow’s copper craftsmanship contributed to the restoration of the Gardener’s Cottage in the Darwin Martin House complex. He also made custom roofing tiles for the project.

He continued playing top-level basketball until he was in his mid-40s with the Dick Fischer, Eldridge Club, Humboldt YMCA and Sudeco/Superior teams, averaging more than 50 games a year.

In his prime, he competed with such leading players as Larry Fogle, Johnny McCarthy and Larry O’Connor from Canisius College, Whitey Martin from St. Bonaventure University and Charlie Hoxie from Niagara University and the Harlem Globetrotters.

A Cheektowaga resident since the 1960s, Mr. Barnekow also played on numerous softball teams for more than 20 years and was a member of championship league bowling teams at Airport Lanes.

His companion of 30 years, Patricia M. Levorchick, died in 2014.

Survivors include three daughters, Donna Gonyea, Susan Peplinski and Carla Levorchick; a son, Michael; and four grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Urban-Amigone Funeral Home, 3645 Genesee St., Cheektowaga.

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