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Obituaries

Nov. 8, 1928 – June 7, 2017 Krystyna (Christine) Nieduzak was forced to leave Poland in 1939 at the start of World War II, survived a Soviet labor camp in Siberia and went to a refugee resettlement camp  in Africa, but she always carried her native land and its traditions with her. Ever since she arrived in Buffalo a dozen years later, she was especially active in gr…

Obituaries

May 29, 1931 – June 7, 2017 Vitalia Medrano De la O, who was employed in a variety of jobs in her native Costa Rica, died unexpectedly Wednesday in her North Tonawanda home. She was 86. Born in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, to French and Greek immigrant parents, she was married to Juan Solorzano in 1951 and was the mother of 11 children. She worked as a nurse, midwife a…

Obituaries

Nov. 17, 1951 – June 6, 2017 James P. Kern, an excavation and landscaping company owner, died Tuesday in his Orchard Park home after a 16-month battle with bladder cancer. He was 65. Born in Lackawanna, he attended Orchard Park High School and worked as a mechanic and welder. In 1985, he founded Kern Construction, which specialized in excavations for drain tile an…

Obituaries

April 11, 1975 – June 2, 2017 Amy Young Maxwell read a series of articles in The Buffalo News in 2004 entitled “The Incredible Shrinking City” and decided to do something about it. With others, she was a founder of the grassroots organization, Revitalize Buffalo, aiming to build what she called “a smarter and cooler Buffalo.” She served for four years as its chairwom…

March 4, 1926 – June 1, 2017 George A. Vossler, a founder of the Erie County Conservative Party and credited with getting Jimmy Griffin elected mayor of Buffalo, died Thursday in his home in North Buffalo. His family said he had Parkinson’s disease for several years. He was 91. Mr. Vossler helped build the party’s influence and success on the local and state levels. …

Obituaries

Sept. 11, 1925 – May 30, 2017 Jane C. Wrobel, of Buffalo, former co-owner and operator of a hobby shop in Black Rock, died Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital. She was 91. Born in Buffalo, the sixth of 12 children, the former Jane Mazur attended Assumption Elementary School and worked at the former Gates Laundry. Mrs. Wrobel joined her husband, Edward J., in operati…

Obituaries

Jan. 3, 1920 – May 26, 2017 Phyllis J. Shapiro, an avid crafter who turned her hobby into a career as manager of fabric and craft stores, died last Friday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Clarence. She was 97. Born in Buffalo, the former Phyllis Siegel was a 1938 graduate of Lafayette High School and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from t…

Obituaries

April 18, 1957 – May 28, 2017 Winning was an important thing for Timothy W. Dyrek, of Kenmore, who coached several championship parochial high school basketball teams during a career of more than 30 years, but it wasn’t the only thing. In addition to skills on the court, he emphasized the importance of sportsmanship and good character. His motto, repeated on his T…

Obituaries

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 progra…

Obituaries

Sept. 28, 1953 – May 20, 2017 Al Litto’s career as one of the Buffalo area’s leading tennis teachers and coaches began when he played hooky from Mass one Sunday when he was 15. Instead of taking the bus from his home in Kenmore to St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, he and his brother, Bill, hopped a bus in the other direction and spent the morning looking around the const…

Aug. 3, 1935 – May 12, 2017 Jacques Daniel Kern Sr., of East Aurora, a retired financial services representative, died Friday under hospice care in Mercy Hospital after a long illness. He was 81. Born in Buffalo, he attended Park School for primary grades and Nichols School for middle school. After graduating from Orchard Park High School in 1953, he enlisted in…

Sept. 21, 1934 - Dec. 28, 2016 Donald P. Henry of Clarence, who served as senior vice president at the former Empire of America Federal Savings Bank, died Wednesday in hospice at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 82. Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Canisius College. A certified public accountant, Mr. He…

June 27, 1932 -  Dec. 22, 2016 Dr. Augustine E. Diji, a native of Ghana, West Africa and one of the first black psychiatrists to open a private practice in the City of Buffalo, died Dec. 22 at his home following a long illness. Dr. Diji, of Amherst,  received his bachelor of science degree in physics in 1958 in Ghana. He then continued his education at Queens Univers…

Food and Drink

“There’s no people like show people, they smile when they are low,” wrote Irving Berlin. Berlin, no stranger to Buffalo, should have been at E.B. Green’s Steakhouse at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo on Thursday evening, when piano legend Jackie Jocko showed how spot-on those lyrics were. Jocko was dealing with real heartbreak. His lifelong friend Joe Peters – whom he referred…

Gusto

Aug. 30, 1945 – Feb. 19, 2015 Gary Darling, who brought a commanding stage presence and wry humor to roles large and small during a productive five-year stint on the Buffalo theater scene, died Thursday in the hospice unit at Beechwood Continuing Care in Getzville after a long illness. He was 69. Mr. Darling moved to Buffalo in 2007, earning his first major role on a loc…