George T. Ganey Jr., who recovered from a serious injury during the Korean War to become a lawyer and made an unsuccessful bid for an Assembly seat, died Monday in Veteran Affairs Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 78.
The Buffalo native grew up in Kenmore and was a 1945 graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.
Mr. Ganey, who was known as "Skip," joined the Marine Corps in 1945 and boxed for the Marine Corps in a Golden Gloves bout in Madison Square Garden in 1946.
He was discharged a year later and enrolled at Canisius College, where he joined the varsity football team as a walk-on. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1950.
After his graduation, he was recalled to the Marine Corps and sent to Korea as a second lieutenant. He was hospitalized for more than a year, mostly in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C., after suffering shrapnel wounds that resulted in paralysis on his left side.
Mr. Ganey was told by doctors that he would never walk again, but he recovered and rehabilitated himself, walking with a limp for much of his life. He even learned how to play golf without the use of his paralyzed left arm.
He retired from the Marine Corps in 1953 and ran for the 2nd District Assembly seat in 1954.
Mr. Ganey earned a law degree from the University of Buffalo in 1957.
He served as a deputy clerk in U.S. District Court, then spent several years in private practice. Later, he joined the firm of Cohen & Lombardo. He also worked for 15 years as an Erie County assistant district attorney. He ended his law career in private practice.
Mr. Ganey was a member of a variety of legal service associations, including the Erie County Bar Association; George F. Lamm Post, American Legion; and the Disabled American Veterans.
He was a member for 27 years of Cherry Hill Club in Ontario, where he spent summers at a residence in Ridgeway.
Surviving are his wife of 49 years, the former Jane Burkhardt; two sons, Kevin of Buffalo and Patrick of Northfield, Minn.; six daughters, Ellen Cochrane of Buffalo, Maureen Ganey Kates of Elkins Park, Pa., Mary Ganey Cochrane of Buffalo, Jane Dockendorf of Flat Rock, N.C., Katherine Joyce of Buffalo and Bridget Hitchcock of Sitka, Alaska; four brothers, John of Marsden Mills, Mass., Charles of Vernon, Conn., Joseph of Herndon, Va., and Michael of Spokane, Wash.; four sisters, Joan Klawitter of Aurora, Ohio, Phyllis Jamieson of Amherst, Sueann Miller of Mashpee, Mass., and Judith Charters of Spokane, Wash.; and 18 grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1029 Delaware Ave., after prayers at 10:15 in George J. Roberts Funeral Home, 3000 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. Private burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.