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Erie County

June 19, 1918 – Jan. 13, 2018 World War II veteran Joseph J. Sedita was more than a respected city and State Supreme Court judge, according to those who knew him. He was a compassionate man whose outreach to those with mental health and addiction issues was as admired as was his expertise in matrimonial law. Judge Sedita, brother of late Buffalo Mayor Frank A. Sedita…

Obituaries

Sept. 27, 1946 – Jan. 11. 2018 Edward A. Starosielec's career connected him to a variety of innovations and research: helping Olympic skiers, researching missile defense systems, testing the first cellular phone systems, and work that led to car technology and computer search engines. The retired vice president of what is now known as Calspan died Thursday of complic…

Obituaries

July 10, 1938 – Jan. 1, 2018 Martha A. Veasey, of Buffalo, a retired Canisius College administrator, died Jan. 1 after a lengthy illness. She was 79. Born in Johnstown, Pa., one of eight children, the former Martha Hemphill came to Buffalo with her family. After a short marriage, she graduated from Sisters Hospital School of Nursing and was a nurse at Buffalo General…

Obituaries

July 27, 1943 – Jan. 2, 2018 Sheila Brady Nair, a registered nurse, died Jan. 2 from injuries suffered in a head-on collision with a truck six miles from her longtime home in New Bethlehem, Pa. She was 74. Born in Buffalo, one of six children, the former Sheila Belinda Brady was the daughter of Charles A. Brady, author, literary critic and longtime professor of Engli…

Obituaries

Nov. 19, 1935 – Jan. 9, 2018 Russell J. Barbera, of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired postal worker and postal union president, died Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a short illness. He was 82. Born in Buffalo, he grew up on the West Side, attended Holy Angels School and was a 1953 graduate of Bishop Fallon High School, where he was an All High athlete, a stand…

Obituaries

Jan. 16, 1916 – Jan. 7, 2018 Beginning as a boy, Salvatore Pacella was a hard worker. Born in Pacentro, a medieval village in the mountains of central Italy, he was one of six children and left school in the fourth grade to help support his family by taking firewood to town on a donkey and selling it. “I went back with him this past August, and he showed me where …

Obituaries

Sept. 18, 1939 – Jan. 1, 2018 Marsha A. Echols, of East Amherst, a retired Buffalo teacher and school administrator, died on New Year’s Day. She was 78. Born in Buffalo, the third of eight children in one of the most prominent families on the city’s East Side, she attended city schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State College, completing…

Obituaries

Aug. 31, 1934 – Dec. 28, 2017 Winona C. Stonebraker, of North Tonawanda, a retired high school guidance counselor, died Dec. 28 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. She was 83. The former Winona Smith was born in Penn Yan and moved to Buffalo with her family in the early 1940s. She was a 1952 graduate of Riverside High School. She earned a teac…

Obituaries

July 4, 1944 – Jan. 4, 2018 Joseph M. Palka, of Clarence Center, owner and chief executive officer of a laboratory equipment manufacturing company, died unexpectedly Thursday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 73. Born in North Tonawanda, he was a 1962 graduate of Bishop Duffy High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Canisius College, where…

Obituaries

Oct. 6, 1931 – Dec. 7, 2017 Richard H. "Dick" Batt, of Venice, Fla., a retired Buffalo area realtor, died unexpectedly Dec. 7 in Venice Regional Bayfront Hospital. He was 86. Born in the Town of Tonawanda, Mr. Batt was a graduate of Tonawanda High School and served in the Army in the Korean War. Mr. Batt began his real estate career in the firm of Batt, Doring and…

Obituaries

June 28, 1934 – Jan. 6, 2018 James J. Lombardi, who had three long and simultaneous careers as a local elected official, a teacher and the operator of a dairy, died Saturday in Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston, after a long illness. He was 83. Mr. Lombardi served 20 years in town office: eight years as a Lewiston councilman followed by 12 years as supervisor. H…

Oct. 10, 1931 – Jan. 3, 2018 Richard J. McCowan, a renowned educational researcher and professor emeritus at SUNY Buffalo State, died Wednesday in his Grand Island home after a short illness. He was 86. Born in New York City, he was a 1949 graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola. He graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University in 1953 and earned a master…

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Aug. 1, 1921 - Dec. 17, 2017 Raymond A. Hudson, M.D., a longtime Buffalo cardiologist, died Dec. 17 in the Rosa Coplon Facility of the Weinberg Campus after a long illness. He was 96. Dr. Hudson was a Buffalo native who attended the University of Buffalo through full scholarships, and later the US Army for undergraduate and medical training. He graduated from the …

Obituaries

Jan. 19, 1995 – Dec. 19, 2017 Thapelo Imani Hill, a traditional African percussionist and dancer, died Dec. 19 in Erie County Medical Center, five days after he was wounded in a shooting outside a pizzeria on Niagara Street. He was 22. Born in Buffalo, his father was African-American and his mother came from Botswana. His first name, Thapelo, means “prayer” in his mo…

Obituaries

Aug. 24, 1946 – Dec. 31, 2017 John Michael Fitzgerald, a Lockport attorney for almost 40 years, died Sunday in Niagara Hospice House, Lockport, after an illness. He was 71. Born in Lockport, he was a 1964 graduate of Lockport High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Niagara University in 1968 and completed his juris doctor degree at the University at Buffalo Law …