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Joseph S. Gnojek, volunteer fire official Oct. 29, 1934 -- Sept. 20, 2005

Joseph S. Gnojek, a retired millwright and volunteer fire official, died Tuesday in The Waters of Aurora nursing home, East Aurora, after a brief illness. He was 70.

A lifelong area resident, he graduated from Lancaster High School and Canisius College, where he earned a degree in accounting. He served in the Army in the late 1950s.

Mr. Gnojek lived in Elma and worked for many years at Trico Products, where he was a union steward, before retiring in 1991.

He was a former president, commissioner, assistant chief and active life member of Spring Brook Fire Company. He was an honorary life member of Seneca Hose Company and Murray Hose Company 4; a past president and life member of the Erie County and Southwestern volunteer firemen's associations; and a member of several other area and state fire associations and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

He belonged to numerous civic, social and fraternal organizations, including Moniuszko Social Club, Kosciuszko Polish Home Association, Dom Polski, Depew-Lancaster Eagles and Lancaster Moose.

A former baseball umpire and wrestling referee, Mr. Gnojek was a member of several sports officiating associations. He also hunted and was a past president of Elma Conservation Club.

His wife, the former Joan L. Scatorchie, died Dec. 1.

Survivors include two daughters, Jacqueline J. of Summerfield, Fla., and Karen M. Kittell of Hampton, Va.; six sons, Joseph E.S. and J. Jay, both of Elma, James J. of Orchard Park, Robert A. Kittell of Orem, Utah, Paul L. Kittell of Cheektowaga, and Thomas J. Kittell of Cleveland; his mother, Mary of Elma; two sisters, Helen Suberski of Elma and Annette McCarthy of Youngstown, Ohio; and 19 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 6441 Seneca St., Spring Brook, preceded by prayers at 9:15 in Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels, 4680 Clinton St., West Seneca. Burial will be in St. Adalbert Cemetery, Lancaster.

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