Stanley A. Brzezinski, Town of Wheatfield supervisor for 22 years, died Sunday (Jan. 23, 2000) in his Wheatfield home under Niagara Hospice care. He was 82.
Wheatfield supervisor from 1958 through 1979, in 1963 he became the first Democrat in 47 years to serve as chairman of the former Niagara County Board of Supervisors, predecessor to the Niagara County Legislature.
As supervisors chairman, he presided at the dedication ceremonies marking the opening of Niagara County Community College in 1963 and the inauguration of Earnest Notar as its first president.
During his 11 terms as supervisor, working primarily with Republican town boards, he helped convert rural Wheatfield into a suburban residential, commercial and industrial area on the corridor between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. He championed a multimillion-dollar pipeline project that brought municipal water service to every street and road in the town.
He was instrumental in introducing the developer Forest City Enterprises into the town, resulting in the construction of Summit Park Mall and the nearby Summit Industrial Park and residential area. He also helped complete a new town hall and the Wheatfield Towers senior citizens complex.
Current Wheatfield Supervisor Timothy E. Demler on Sunday ordered all flags in the town to be lowered to half staff and declared a seven-day period of mourning.
"He was truly the architect of the modern Wheatfield," Demler said. "His vision for the town was unchanged. He certainly guided this administration as a counselor and a friend. He had a lot of input.
H Born in North Tonawanda, Brzezinski was a football star at North Tonawanda High School and was fullback on the football team at Canisius College, where he graduated in 1943. He earned a master's degree in education from the University of Buffalo.
He taught as a substitute at North Tonawanda High School and, when his two brothers left to fight in World War II, remained to help his parents in their business as an area distributor for Beck's Beer.
After the war, he helped them operate Lynch Park Mobile Home Court on River Road in Wheatfield, later taking over the operation. He sold the business in the mid-1980s. He also was chairman of Calamar Construction Co.
He began his political career in the early 1950s as a member of the North Tonawanda Civil Service Commission. He later became a charter member of the Wheatfield Planning and Zoning Board.
A charter member of the Wheatfield Democratic Club and a former Democratic committeeman, he was appointed by Gov. Averill Harriman to the Northwestern Water Authority, predecessor to the Niagara County Water System.
He served as a commissioner for the Niagara County Water District administrative board and Niagara County Sewer District 1 board of commissioners. He was appointed to the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency in 1982.
He opposed State Sen. Earl Brydges Sr. for the State Senate in 1962 and ran unsuccessfully for the 139th District Assembly seat in 1972. A champion of home rule, he campaigned against policies imposed on towns by the state and state authorities.
He also was a member of St. John de LaSalle Catholic Church, where he served as usher for the 10 a.m. Mass. He was a member of the Bishops Committee and North Tonawanda Council 2535, Knights of Columbus. He also was active in Lewiston Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Brzezinski was a member of the Retired Public Employees Association, the Wheatfield Business Association and the Canisius College President's Council. He also was a member of Niagara Falls Lodge 838, Loyal Order of Moose, and was an exempt member of Frontier Volunteer Fire Company.
He sponsored many youth baseball, hockey and football teams.
He and Phyllis Mavis were married in 1944.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Gay B. Molnar of Wheatfield; a sister, Vivian Newman of Dania, Fla.; two brothers, Frank of Lancaster and Anthony of Wheatfield; and two grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. John de LaSalle Church, 8469 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls.