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Donald J. Wegner, Cheektowaga zoning inspector May 3, 1934 -- July 13, 2007

Donald Joseph Wegner, a Cheektowaga town zoning inspector and former town councilman, died Friday in the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Cheektowaga. He was 73.

Mr. Wegner served on the Cheektowaga Town Board from 1977 to 1981. He also was chairman of the town's Zoning Board of Appeals and served for the past decade as zoning inspector in the town's neighborhood preservation office.

Mr. Wegner's wife, Cheektowaga Town Councilwoman Patricia A. Jaworowicz, described her husband as "a people magnet," who found a natural outlet in politics.

"Politics is very people-oriented, and when he could help people, he was very dedicated to getting their problems solved," she said. "Not always could he solve them, but he certainly attempted to assist them when and where he could, and he did help many of them."

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Wegner graduated from Amherst High School and earned a bachelor's degree in business from Canisius College, where he served in Army ROTC. He later worked 15 years for Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, first as a sales representative and later as regional manager, his wife said.

She said Mr. Wegner also served the community by founding the St. Barnabas Athletic Association and serving as its president earlier in his life.

"He loved working with kids and children, and he loved sports, and the two loves just kind of melted into that one need to work with those kids in the realm of baseball," she said. "That basically was the love of his life: coaching, teaching, playing."

Mr. Wegner was a member of Springville Country Club, joining 20 years ago.

In addition to his wife, whom he married in 1991, Mr. Wegner is survived by four sons, Michael, Douglas, Mark and Brian; a daughter, Susan Errico; a stepson, Timothy Jaworowicz; and a stepdaughter, Pamela Fruck.

Prayers will be said 8:45 a.m. Tuesday in Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels, 4680 Clinton St., West Seneca, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 in St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma.

[CTHOMPSON]

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