Thomas F. Wnuk Sr., a Cheektowaga police officer, died Monday (Dec. 29, 1997) in Mitchell Campus of Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a one-year illness. He was 48.
Born in Buffalo, he attended Mother of Divine Grace Elementary School and Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga. He earned an associate's degree in police science from Erie Community College and studied at Buffalo State College.
He served two consecutive tours of duty in the Vietnam War with the 133rd Battalion of the Navy Seabees and was awarded three Bronze Stars.
Wnuk was appointed to the Cheektowaga Police Department in 1975 and served in the Midnight Patrol Platoon, Greater Buffalo Airport Detail, Day Patrol Platoon and most recently in the Central Records Unit. He retired earlier this year.
He received the Departmental Medal of Honor for rescuing a person from a burning car moments before it exploded in March 1984 and was given the Distinguished Conduct Medal for apprehending a burglary suspect in December 1984.
Active as an athlete, he was a member of the Cheektowaga Police Department's championship softball and volleyball teams. He also was active in the Niagara Frontier Police Athletic Association's basketball and golf leagues. He was a state-certified boys high school volleyball official.
Survivors include his wife of 19 years, the former Linda Mordino; a son, Thomas Jr. of Cheektowaga; a daughter, Lisa Marie of Cheektowaga; three brothers, Robert of Depew, Henry of Omaha, Neb., and James of Cheektowaga; and two sisters, Carol Ann of Lockport and Karen Finken of Lackawanna.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheektowaga.