Sigismund M. "Buzzie" Lopacki Jr., owner of K&L Tree Service and president of the Echo Society, died unexpectedly Sunday in Mount St. Mary's Hospital. He was 66.
Mr. Lopacki was born in Niagara Falls and graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1957 and Niagara County Community College in 1964. He received his teaching degree from Buffalo State College in 1972.
As a young man, he worked for General Motors Corp. in the Town of Tonawanda. He then worked at Harrison Radiator in Buffalo and at the plant in Lockport for 34 years, retiring in 1993. He was chief executive officer of K&L Tree Service for 30 years and ran the business with his family.
Mr. Lopacki's parents, Sigismund and Helen, were the founders of the Echo Society of Niagara Falls, a haven for Polish immigrants. He joined the group in 1951 and in 1982 became a member of its board of directors. He served as the Echo Club president from 1986 to 1996 and again from 1999 until his death. He and his wife organized 10 Polish festivals in Lackey Plaza and later in the Echo Club. He was honored by the Echo Club for continuous service and as Member of the Year.
He was also a life member of Woodmen of the World and an honorary member of Portage Post 1465, American Legion.
Mr. Lopacki is survived by his wife of 25 years, the former Diane Yeager; three daughters, Paula C. of Huntington Beach, Calif., Joleen R. Smith of Niagara Falls and Charlene N. of Lewiston; a son, Stephen D. of Lewiston; three sisters, Helen Plato of Ridgeway, Ont., Barbara Keller of Niagara Falls and Alexandra "Sandy" Fowle of Lewiston; and a grandson.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1419 Falls St., Niagara Falls, after prayers at 9:15 in Labuda Funeral Home, 356 Portage Road, Niagara Falls. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.