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James F. Best, 82, who was instrumental in organizing youth activities during his years as Village of Hamburg mayor, died unexpectedly Friday (Nov. 27, 1998) in his village home.

Best, a longtime resident of the village, served in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

He served as mayor from 1959 to 1963 and was the village's first youth officer.

In 1968, he graduated from the University at Buffalo with a bachelor's degree in sociology. For the next 15 years, he worked as a probation officer for the Erie County Probation Department.

Surviving are his wife of 57 years, Janice Youngers Best; four sons, James R., Frederick, Michael and Dave; four daughters, Marcia Maitland, Jode Landsittel, Janice Best and Mary Gentile; three sisters, Mary Blackwell, Leona McCleary and Ellen Lamm; 18 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 66 E. Main St., Hamburg.

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