Robert G. Olszewski, 35, a crusader against environmental pollution, died Wednesday (Oct. 15, 1997) in Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston, after a long illness.
A native of Niagara Falls, Olszewski was president of CAPE (Citizens Against Poisoning the Environment. The group's goal is to have a former industrial dump site near his Lockport Road home placed on the national priority list of toxic dumps and to have the site cleaned up.
Olszewski said two years ago that he became suspicious about health risks from the dump site when he developed a brain tumor. The former dump site is in an undeveloped area just north of the Belden Center neighborhood where Olszewski lived for the last five years.
Neighborhood residents claim that the incidence of cancer among Belden Center residents is 55 to 65 percent above the national average, but no scientific studies have linked those afflictions with the industrial waste buried in the nearby dump.
Olszewski was a 1980 graduate of Niagara-Wheatfield High School, and he served in the Air Force for eight years. He worked at Great Lakes Custom Brokerage in Buffalo.
Besides heading the environmental group, he was a member of the Echo Club of Niagara Falls; Niagara Environmental Committee; and the John J. Welch Post, American Legion, in Niagara Falls.
Survivors include his wife, the former Sharon Hall; three daughters, Nikki, Shanna and Shelby; his parents, John and Eleanor Smiedala Olszewski of Niagara Falls; two brothers, John and Michael, both of Niagara Falls; and a sister, Jodi Roberts of Niagara Falls.
Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Lane Funeral Home Inc., 8622 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Lewiston.