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JOSEPH P. POKIGO, LOCAL KARATE INSTRUCTOR
APRIL 6, 1929 -- JULY 24, 2004

Joseph P. Pokigo of Cheektowaga, a karate instructor, died Saturday in Erie County Medical Center of complications from injuries suffered in a June 2 van accident on the Scajaquada Expressway. He was 75.

Born in Lackawanna, Mr. Pokigo had worked for 25 years at Republic Steel, retiring in the early 1970s.

Known as "Karate Joe," he had studied karate at World Fighting Arts in Buffalo since 1966 and held an eighth-degree black belt in Isshin-Ryu karate. Mr. Pokigo officiated at karate tournaments and was named to the Goshin Jutsu Hall of Fame in Erie, Pa.

Mr. Pokigo also raised and showed Scottish terriers and Akitas with his wife, Tammy Krajnik Pokigo, with whom he was a member of the Wyoming Valley Kennel Club.

Surviving in addition to his wife are two daughters, Nancy Henley of Barboursville, W.Va., and Johanna R. of Cheektowaga; two brothers, Edward and Eugene, both of Cheektowaga; and two grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Barron-Miller Funeral Home, 3025 William St., Cheektowaga. Burial will be in St. Adalbert's Cemetery, Lancaster.

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