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Obituaries

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Obituaries

Oct. 20, 1929 – May 3, 2018 Dr. Fred Douglas Archer Jr., the first African-American to serve as president of the Erie County Dental Society, died May 3 in his Amherst home. He was 88. Born in Reidsville, N.C., an only child, he graduated with honors from Booker T. Washington High School there in 1946 and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1950 from Shaw University in Rale…

Obituaries

Dec. 22, 1930 – May 8, 2018 One night when Irwin Pate owned a record store in Louisville, Ky., he took a busload of African-American youngsters who had won a contest to see a James Brown concert. The Godfather of Soul thought it was unusual to see a white man with so many black children in the audience. He invited the group backstage after the show, then asked Mr. Pa…

Obituaries

Aug. 23, 1934 – May 6, 2018 Pat Langmyer was teaching classes for gifted students at Buffalo School 54, where she was instrumental in developing the Special Progress program, when the new City Honors School was established in School 17 in 1976. She was chosen to be one of the original faculty members. She moved with the program when City Honors relocated to the forme…

Obituaries

Nov. 6, 1927 — May 6, 2018 In her final hours, as her breath grew labored, Genevieve S. Stenhouse did what she had done all her life: She praised God, said her daughter, Thomasina Rochelle Stenhouse. "First in her life was God and her personal relationship with Him," said Thomasina Stenhouse. "Up until her last day, she was talking to Him and praising Him. We had a c…

Obituaries

April 10, 1921 – May 5, 2018 The first time Ciro Rocco came to the U.S., he was a prisoner of war. A truck driver in the Italian Army in North Africa during World War II, he was captured by the British during the Siege of Tobruk, Libya, in 1941. He was among the Italian soldiers who were turned over to American forces and brought to the U.S. for the duration of the w…

Obituaries

July 1, 1926 – April 29, 2018 Dr. W. Merrick Hayes Jr., a dentist in the City of Tonawanda for 40 years, died April 29 in Northgate Health Care Facility, Wheatfield. He was 91. Born in Lockport, his father and uncle were dentists. He was a graduate of Kenmore High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and served in the Army in the 106th Infantry Di…

Obituaries

Feb. 17, 1926 — May 5, 2018 Edwin T. Bean Jr., a retired partner and founder of the intellectual property practice at Hodgson Russ, was an experienced and informed attorney. But people he met were impressed by his kind, gentle nature, his devotion to his family and his lifelong work for the emotional, social and educational betterment of children. Mr. Bean's voluntee…

June 22, 1940 – May 4, 2018 When Eugene R. Pokornowski and his brother, Raymond, bought Wally’s Club 20 in Kaisertown in 1969, they updated the place and renamed it Porky’s Amber Lounge. “They remodeled it to how they wanted the bar and they never changed it,” said his grandson, Craig Pokornowski. “His pride and joy was that bar. It was his dream.” Porky’s, at 202…

Obituaries

March 1, 1935 – May 3, 2018 Sister Marie Colette Rutkowski, a teacher for many years, died peacefully on Thursday at St. Francis Park in Hamburg. She was 83. Sister Marie Colette was born in Danville, Pennsylvania and became a postulant when she was 20. She was taught by the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Stephen’s Parish in Shamokin, Pennsylvania and profes…

Obituaries

May 6, 1926 – May 4, 2018 John F. Brzozowski, a former North Tonawanda postmaster and Common Council president, died Friday after a short illness in Buffalo General Medical Center, two days before his 92nd birthday. Born in Oil City, Pa., one of six children, Mr. Brzozowski came to North Tonawanda with his family in 1937. He got approval from his father to enlist in …

Obituaries

Sept. 19, 1926 – May 1, 2018 Will Clarkson headed a company that was a beacon of success during Buffalo’s dark economic days – Graphic Controls Corp. When The Buffalo News honored him as a Citizen of the Year for 1981, however, it was for a far different accomplishment. He led the group that brought about the publication of “Buffalo Architecture: A Guide,” the fir…

Obituaries

April 19, 1947 – April 30, 2018 Norm Paolini, a cancer researcher, was a veteran of several pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal when he met Buffalo restaurant owner Amy Betros, a first-time visitor there, in 1992. The airlines had misplaced her luggage and he offered to help her round up a few necessities until her bags arrived. Her respons…

Obituaries

Aug. 3, 1941 – May 1, 2018 Jimmy L. Thomas, who oversaw dozens of acquisitions of newspapers and broadcast stations while managing finances for Gannett Co. Inc., died Tuesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, following a stroke. He was 76. He began a 25-year career at Gannett in Rochester in 1973 as treasurer and played a key role in the company’s biggest purchase in …

Obituaries

July 11, 1927 – April 15, 2018 Robert Lang Miller Sr. was his father’s choice to carry on the family’s financial interests. Mr. Miller, like his father, had become an executive with Liberty National Bank. In 1969, he and Paul Gesko, who came from M&T Bank, took over the office in the Liberty Building that his father had opened to manage the family’s business a…

Obituaries

Dec. 11, 1936 – April 23, 2018 Edward B. Fisher, a research engineer and a co-founder of Veritay Technology Inc., died April 23 in his home in Snyder after a short battle with cancer. He was 81. Born in Montour Falls, he was a 1955 graduate of Cohocton High School and went straight to what was then Cornell Aeronautical Laboratories in 1959 after he earned a bachelor’…