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Howard G. Gesel, operated tavern and restaurant off Kensington <br> March 23, 1923 -- April 21, 2007

A memorial service for Howard George Gesel, a longtime tavern and restaurant owner, was held Tuesday in Lombardo Funeral Home, Amherst.

Mr. Gesel died Saturday in his home. He was 84.

Known as "Red" to his friends because of the red hair he had in his youth, Mr. Gesel was born in Buffalo.

According to his family, Gesel Street off Fillmore Avenue, was named for his family. Mr. Gesel's grandfather owned the land that was later sold to Blessed Trinity Catholic Church.

Gesel attended the parish's elementary school as a child and was an altar boy at the church.

He served three years in the Army Air Forces during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines.

Mr. Gesel, along with his wife, the former Genevieve P. Koczon, were the longtime proprietors of Ken-Wy Inn, off Kensington and Wyoming avenues. The business, which had been in operation for about 70 years before it closed in 1990, was originally owned by the parents of Mr. Gesel's wife. She died in 2005.

The couple had no children of their own, said his niece Diana Seifert. He was like a father to many of his nieces and nephews, she said.

"He was more than an uncle to us," she said.


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