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Robert A. Latka, retired Navy Reserve officer March 11, 1925 -- Dec. 13, 2005

A Mass of Christian Burial for Robert A. Latka of Lancaster will be offered at 10 a.m. today in Resurrection Catholic Church, 130 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga, following prayers at 9:15 in Barron-Miller Funeral Home, 3025 William St., near Union Road, Cheektowaga. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

Mr. Latka, a retired commander in the Navy Reserve, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 80.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Latka was a 1943 graduate of Sloan High School. He was drafted that same year and remained on active duty with the Reserve until 1959. A lieutenant, he served as commanding officer aboard the USS Defense and USS Skill.

Mr. Latka was awarded a Bronze Star with combat "V" for valor during the Korean War. He retired from the Reserve as a commander in 1975.

He also worked for Pollock Printing.

Mr. Latka was a member of the Buffalo Maritime Heritage, Naval Mine Warfare and Military Officers associations, as well as the Navy Memorial Foundation, Chief Petty Officer's Club of Western New York and Armed Forces Week Committee.

He also was a member of the Western New York Chapter of the Naval Reserve Association, active on the local and national levels. Mr. Latka was on the board of directors of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

Mr. Latka was among the original season ticket holders for the Buffalo Bills, holding season tickets until 2004.

Survivors include two sisters, Adeline Siuda of Amherst and Maryann Cole of American Canyon, Calif.

[HABUDA]

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