May 27, 1930 – Dec. 7, 2017
Wilbert Bernard Holder always had more than one iron in the fire.
While he was working nights for American Airlines at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, for several years he spent his days as volunteer office manager for the Buffalo branch of the NAACP. Earlier, in addition to his full-time work, he assisted in his family's dry cleani…
June 6, 1933 – Dec. 11, 2017
When Dr. Thomas A. Hassenfratz started his practice in 1961, podiatrists weren’t allowed to admit patients to hospitals.
However, his father, Dr. Arthur C. Hassenfratz, was a physician with an extensive family practice and he was well acquainted with staff and administrators at local hospitals.
Before long, he was being allowed to work…
Aug. 19, 1933 – Dec. 10, 2017
One of the first things Norm Winkler did after he became resident engineer for northern Erie County for the New York State Department of Transportation was spruce up the maintenance headquarters in Depew.
“It was like a garage,” his wife of 53 years, the former JoAnn C. Marciano, recalled. “He didn’t want it to look like a place where la…
Sept. 21, 1928 – Nov. 14, 2017
John M. Svilokos, a retired Kenmore police officer and businessman, died Nov. 14 under hospice care in his home in Ocala, Fla., after a period of declining health. He was 89.
Born in the Town of Tonawanda, he was a 1947 graduate of Kenmore High School, where he was a standout pole vaulter and a running back on the football team. He bega…
Nov. 30, 1954 – Dec. 10, 2017
Dr. Bruce J. Cusenz, of Getzville, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, died Sunday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short battle with cancer. He was 63.
Born in Rochester, he attended Hilton High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne College in Syracuse in 1976 and received his doctorate degree from the University at …
Feb. 10, 1924 – Dec. 9, 2017
Sister Mary Aurelian Kosiba, a teacher and administrator in Catholic schools, died Saturday in Blessed Mary Angela Care Center, Cheektowaga, where she had been a patient since 2008. She was 93.
Born in Buffalo, she was a graduate of Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Canisius College.
Sept. 9, 1937 – Oct. 31, 2017
Hortense Marie Hilliard, of Buffalo, active in the Humboldt Parkway Baptist Church, died Oct. 31 in Garden Gate Health Care Facility, Cheektowaga, after a lengthy illness. She was 80.
Born in Buffalo, the youngest of seven children, she attended School 32 and was a 1955 graduate of East High School. She later earned an associate’s degree…
April 28, 1926 - Dec. 9, 2017
Joyce R. Schultz, 91, died Saturday in Elderwood of Williamsville, after complications from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Mrs. Schultz, a homemaker, artist and mother of five, was also an avid reader of art and science books.
The former Joyce Johnson was a native of Jamestown and had lived in the Western New York area all of h…
Sept. 21, 1951 - Dec. 6, 2017
Michael J. O'Brien of Tonawanda, a principal and assistant superintendent in Buffalo Public Schools, died Wednesday in Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Niagara Falls. He was 66.
The Ithaca native served as principal at Campus West, PFC Grabiarz, and Leonardo DaVinci before being named assistant superintendent. He also worked for St. Mary of…
Nov. 30, 1926 – Dec. 6, 2017
Sister Mary Raymond Syjut, a teacher in Catholic elementary schools for 45 years, died Wednesday in Immaculate Conception Convent, Hamburg. She was 91.
Born in Detroit, after high school the former Bernice Theresa Syjut worked in a tool shop and managed a grocery store. After a 30-day novena to Mother Mary, she became a postulant with the…
April 6, 1924 - Dec. 7, 2017
George E. Killian, a former Erie Community College men's basketball coach who served as the first executive director of the National Junior College Athletic Association, died Thursday in Glendale, Ariz., at the age of 93.
Mr. Killian was a basketball coach and athletic director at Erie Community College from 1954 until 1969 until he left…
Aug. 9, 1935 – Dec. 5, 2017
William Patrick Lynch Sr., founder of the Depew Saints Hockey Club, died Tuesday in Sisters Hospital. He was 82.
Born in Toronto, the son of a U.S. customs agent, he attended the former St. Francis de Sales Elementary School in Buffalo and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.
He left high school to enlist in the Air Force during the Korea…
March 19, 1960 – Dec. 1, 2017
Thomas J. Santa Lucia, of Williamsville, a legislative aide, died Friday in Erie County Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 57.
Born in Buffalo, he was a cum laude graduate from Calasanctius Preparatory School, where he earned the Harvard Book Club Award as an outstanding student. He graduated magna cum laude from the University…
July 21, 1936 – Nov. 30, 2017
Salvatore A. Valvo was a career officer with the Buffalo Police Department whose work as McGruff the Crime Dog sent home an important message to hundreds of schoolchildren throughout the city.
"He was one of the first McGruffs," said Gina Rath, his daughter. "He'd go to the schools dressed up like McGruff telling kids how to stay safe. …
Aug. 17, 1931 – Dec. 1, 2017
Step through the doors of the Cavalier Motor Lodge & Restaurant and there was proprietor Loretta DeLuca.
She worked the front desk. She answered phones. She greeted customers. She did the bookkeeping. She was hostess at the restaurant.
"She loved the motel and restaurant business," said Roxanne Zimmerman, one of her daughters, "and…