Florian R. Skomski, 59, a retired Buffalo police detective sergeant who received many citations and decorations for bravery, died Monday (Sept. 6, 1999) at his home in Clearwater, Fla., after suffering a heart attack.
Called "Flo" by friends, Skomski was born in Buffalo and grew up in the city's East Side. He attended St. Ann's Catholic School, School 31 and Burgard Vocational High School, where he learned to be an auto mechanic.
Skomski worked as a mechanic for an auto dealership until September 1968, when he reported to the Police Academy. He graduated in December and was assigned to patrol duty at the old Precinct 4 Station at Michigan Avenue and William Street.
He later was assigned to the Tactical Patrol Unit. On June 26, 1970, during a chase of a car involved in a shooting at Best street and Michigan Avenue, in which the victim had been shot five times, Skomski stopped two suspects at East Ferry and Grider streets. One of the suspects flashed a gun at him, but Skomski held his ground, firing two warning shots and arresting the pair.
The following November he was awarded the Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by the Police Department.
Skomski was assigned to the narcotics unit in December 1971 and again was cited for his bravery and police work. In 1978, he was assigned to the Homicide Squad. He returned to the Michigan Avenue Station in 1986 as a detective sergeant. Later that year, he was assigned to the Vice Squad.
In 1992, Skomski was named "Detective of the Year" by the Police Benevolent Association.
He retired on April 24, 1994. Although he had served more than enough years to retire, he departed mainly because of injuries he suffered in making an arrest, according to friends.
Skomski was a member of the PBA and the Detective Sergeants Association.
His first wife, the former Elizabeth Rinker, died in 1998, after a long illness.
Survivors include his wife, the former Kathleen M. Usiak; two daughters, Cindy Ann Weaver and Elizabeth Ann; two sons, Christopher and Florian Jr.; his mother, Irene Skomski; a brother, Donald; and a grandson.
Prayers will be said at 8:45 a.m. Saturday in Kazmierczak Funeral Home, 3640 Clinton St., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 in St. William's Catholic Church, 1 Arcade St., West Seneca.
Burial will be in St. Matthews Cemetery, West Seneca.