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James F. Brace Sr., 72, a service representative at National Fuel for 32 years, died Saturday (March 28, 1998) at Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a long illness.

The Buffalo native played baseball, basketball and football at Lafayette High School. He also played baseball in the Buffalo Muny AA and AAA leagues.

After graduating from high school in 1944, he entered the Navy and was stationed as a signalman at San Bruno, Calif., where he played on the naval base football and baseball teams.

Brace attended the University of Buffalo's Millard Fillmore College and was a member of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity.

He and his family spent summers at Crescent Beach in Fort Erie, Ont., for nearly 50 years.

He was a member of the National Fuel Retirees Club.

He was a former member of the Western New York Umpires Association and retired in 1992 after 25 as an umpire.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Peggy Stewart; a daughter, Judith Doyle; two sons, James Jr. and Terrence; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda, after prayers at 10 in John E. Roberts Funeral Home, 1357 Hertel Ave.[hkes]

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