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Gerald J. Schlee, 65, a retired sales manager for General Motors Acceptance Corp. who played basketball for St. Bonaventure University, died Saturday (Jan. 29, 2000) in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a battle with liver cancer.

Born in Buffalo, Schlee graduated from Bishop Timon High School and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from St. Bonaventure in 1956.

Schlee worked at GMAC for 33 years. Upon retiring in 1993, he worked part time at Sheehan Memorial Hospital in patient accounts.

Known as "Cheeta" on the basketball court, Schlee, at 6 feet 6 inches tall, was a dominant rebounder for the Bonnies, ranking 12th on the all-time list.

While at St. Bonaventure, Schlee was freshman class president, sophomore class president and junior class president. After graduating, he taught accounting at St. Bonaventure and coached freshman basketball. He also returned to his high school alma mater, Bishop Timon High School, where he was an all-Catholic selection in 1952, to coach basketball.

For more than 30 years, Schlee was a referee for college and high school basketball games. He served as vice president of the Western New York Approved Basketball Officials Association for more than 10 years.

Schlee also was an active blood donor for the American Red Cross, achieving the 15-gallon level.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, the former Norma Angst of the Town of Tonawanda; two daughters, Dana Ronan and Darcy Zuchlewski, both of Amherst; a son, Chad of the Town of Tonawanda; three brothers, John and James, both of the Town of Tonawanda, and Michael of Templance, Mich.; two sisters, Virginia Gibbons of Buffalo and PatriciaO' Malley of Clarence.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda. Burial will be private.


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