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Joseph A. Ilardo of Eden, former owner of Helthco Discount BusyMart in the Village of Hamburg, died Wednesday (Sept. 19, 2001) in Buffalo General Hospital following a 12-month battle with cancer of the esophagus.

Ilardo, 50, was born in Buffalo and grew up in Eden. He served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

He started his business career as an assistant manager at Valu Home Center. He opened Helthco on Buffalo Street in 1972 and sold it in August 2000. The well-known store was a family operation, with Ilardo's wife, children, brother, sister, cousins and nephew working there over the years. His mother continues to work for the new owner.

Ilardo's interests included camping, tennis, Buffalo sporting events and going on vacations, where he would visit as many roller coasters and restaurants as possible.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, the former Sophia Revelas; two sons, Michael J. of Cheektowaga and Matthew C. of Brooklyn; a daughter, Katherine M. of Eden; his parents, Anthony C. and Patricia M. of Eden; a sister, Mary J. Oksman of Hamburg; and a brother, Samuel J. of Charlotte, N.C.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. todayb in Immaculate Conception Church, 8791 S. Main St., Eden.

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