Douglas C. Wielinski, a veteran and marketing manager at Luvata Buffalo, enjoyed visiting history classes at Clarence Central High School and sharing his experiences from Vietnam with his daughters' generation.
While his wife, Karen, and daughter, Jill, managed to get out of their Long Street home after the Continental airplane crashed into the house, Wielinski, 61, perished in the crash and inferno.
Karen Wielinski, a secretary in the personnel department of Clarence Central Schools for five years, told WBEN Radio she believes her husband was in the dining room in the center of their house when the plane hit. Karen Wielinski crawled out of the family room in the rear of the house. Her daughter, Jill, was blown out of the house, according to Erie County Executive Chris Collins.
The Wielinskis have three other daughters: Kimberly; Jessica, of the Town of Monroe; and Lori, of Cincinnati. Clarence School Superintendent Thomas Coseo said all the daughters graduated from Clarence High School, and Lori Wielinski played soccer with his daughter.
"He [Douglas] was always around when Lori was playing soccer," Coseo said. "He was very supportive of all the kids in their academics and athletic programs." He said Wielinski liked talking to high school classes.
"Doug was committed to the students," Coseo said. "He thoroughly enjoyed the lectures he did. He enjoyed sharing his experience."
"We're all deeply saddened," said Jack Alonge, director of human services at Luvata, the former North Buffalo manufacturer formerly known as Outokumpu American Brass. "Everybody is extending their condolences to the family. He was a quiet, wonderful, good person who cared deeply for his family."
- Barbara O'Brien