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Richard T. Bystrak, 71, of Depew, an independent photographer and retired machine operator at Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Cheektowaga, died Sunday (Oct. 12, 1997) in St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Boys Vocational High School and joined the U.S. Army, serving in Los Cruces, N.M., in 1945. After his discharge in 1946, he trained to become a photographer and worked out of a studio in his Depew home for 45 years.

He worked at Westinghouse for 38 years as a machine operator before his retirement in 1985.

An avid sports fan, he was a Buffalo Bills season-ticket holder. A supporter of the American Red Cross, he was a 10-gallon blood donor and a member of the Red Cross' new Plasma Donation Program.

"One of his last acts of charity was to give his body to the University at Buffalo Medical Center for research," his family said.

Bystrak was a member of Our Lady of the Precious Sacrament Catholic Church in Depew and served as a song leader there for more than 20 years.

Survivors include his wife, the former Henrietta Popielarz; a daughter, Judith Bruce of Cheektowaga; four sons, Daniel of Largo, Fla., Ronald of Amherst, Richard Jr. of Alden and David of West Seneca; a sister, Virginia Szydlowski of Cheektowaga; and five grandchildren.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 French Road, Depew.

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