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Joseph G. Tokasz, a World War II veteran and active firefighter, died unexpectedly Sunday (June 24, 2001) in St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga. He was 78.

He was a lifelong Cheektowaga resident and attended Sloan High School.

In 1941, he joined Doyle Volunteer Hose Company No. 2 and was an active member of the fire company for 60 years.

In 1944, he served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. In 1947, he married Bertha Karczewski.

After serving in the military, he returned to Doyle and was named first assistant chief in 1946. He served as chief three separate times -- in 1947, from 1949 to 1953 and from 1963 to 1967. He also served as financial secretary, trustee, president, vice president and on the board of directors.

After retiring from Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1985, where he had worked as a dispatcher and assembler, he remained an active member in the fire company. He drove trucks to many daytime calls, answered first-aid calls and fire alarms and attended all company meetings. He also received numerous community service awards, including the Fire Service Award and the Southwestern Association of Firemen Outstanding Service Award.

He was a member of Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Susan Grzankowski of West Seneca and Patricia Chabbuck of Florida; a brother, Edward of Cheektowaga; two sisters, Josephine Zakowicz of Cheektowaga and Adele Urbanski of West Seneca; and five grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered today in Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Woodlawn, after prayers in Buszka Funeral Home. Burial was in St. Matthews Cemetery, West Seneca.


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