Joseph Szafranski, 82, owner of a Jefferson Avenue bakery for 25 years and a World War II veteran, died unexpectedly Tuesday (Jan. 25, 2000) in his Cheektowaga home.
Born in Buffalo, he served as a tank crewman in the U.S. Army during World War II, participating in campaigns in Rhineland and Normandy, where he earned a Purple Heart.
Szafranski owned and operated John's Pretzel Bakery from 1950 until he sold the business in 1975. He worked at Harlem-Genesee Nursery for five years until it closed in 1980.
Szafranski was a professional softball player and was inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame in 1971. He also was an avid golfer and bowler.
He was a life member and past commander of Leonard Post Jr. Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the Thursday Card Couples Club.
He was the widower of Marjorie Usiak Szafranski.
Survivors include three daughters, Sally Stiglmeier of Orchard Park, Carole Lipp of Clarence and Roberta Felipe of Oxnard, Calif.; a son, Dale of East Amherst; 12 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Prayers will be said at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home, 2510 Union Road, Cheektowaga, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 in Resurrection Catholic Church, 130 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga. Burial will be in St. Matthews Cemetery, West Seneca.