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THOMAS ZALE, BUSINESSMAN, BASEBALL SCOUT

Thomas N. Zale, who operated a wholesale lamp business, died Thursday (Feb. 8, 2001) in Buffalo General Hospital after a brief illness following heart surgery. He was 72.

For the past 25 years, Zale had assembled and sold lamps out of his home in Cheektowaga.

Before that, he was a sales representative for General Electric. During his trips around the country for GE, he scouted baseball prospects for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals.

Zale headed AAA baseball in Buffalo during the 1980s. He started the Athletic Association of St. Barnabas Church, where he also was a past president of the Holy Name Society.

Born in Buffalo, Zale grew up in the Lovejoy area and attended Technical High School. He served locally in the Navy Reserves during World War II and began his career as a salesman at Davis Electric.

For his demands for accountability for town expenditures, Zale received an Award of Excellence from the Town of Cheektowaga in 1989.

He enjoyed fishing, golf and pool.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, the former Frances Stachura; two sons, Larry of Brockport and Thomas of Cheektowaga; two daughters, Cindy DiBella of Clarence and Mary Ellen Zwierlein of the Town of Tonawanda; a brother, David Zelaszkiewicz of Cheektowaga; a sister, Florence Melerski of Sloan; and 11 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in Our Lady Help of Christians Chapel, 4125 Union Road, Cheektowaga. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

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