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Charles "Whitey" LaMendola, an interior designer for residential homes and commercial clients, including Tops Markets, died Tuesday (Oct. 7, 1997) in his Boynton Beach, Fla., home. He was 81.

LaMendola was a native of Buffalo and a longtime area resident. He attended Grover Cleveland High School, where he played baseball and football, and St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.

LaMendola played baseball in the PONY League in the 1930s and '40s, when he caught the attention of major league scouts as one of the league's premier distance hitters. He was signed to play with the Olean Oilers, a farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He helped win the league championship in 1939 as a left-handed first baseman.

In 1948, he opened LaMendola Decorators and ran the business until 1980.

LaMendola was a member of Bridgewater County Club in Fort Erie, Ont.

Survivors include his wife, the former Alice Karmolinski of Boynton Beach; two sons, Lee C. of Buffalo and Gino P. of Amherst; and seven grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church 5480 Main St., Williamsville. Prayers will be said at 8:30 in Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Ave. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.


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