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Thomas C. Toy Jr., owner of La Hacienda Brighton Restaurant Dec. 13, 1949 -- Feb. 12, 2009

Thomas C. Toy Jr., owner of La Hacienda Brighton Restaurant in the Town of Tonawanda, died Thursday in an automobile accident while returning from a business trip in Cattaraugus County.

He was 59.

Born in Sidney, Ohio, Mr. Toy moved to the Buffalo area as a child.

A graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, he helped create the St. Joseph's Athletic Hall of Fame. He graduated from Buffalo State College with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Mr. Toy, an Amherst resident, opened La Hacienda Brighton Restaurant in 1977. In addition, for the past 10 years he sold ambulances as the area manager for North Eastern Rescue Vehicles.

He was a volunteer for the Special Olympics for many years, and he delivered food from his restaurant to shut-ins.

Mr. Toy also founded the Bob Ivory Run at St. Joseph's. The race is on The Buffalo News Runner of the Year series calendar.

St. Joseph's selected him as Man of the Year in 1990, and he was inducted into the Signum Fidei Society in 2004.

Surviving are his wife of 34 years, the former Joan L. Hazelet; two sons, Thomas III and Brendan; two sisters, Theresa Black and Marianne Matyas; and three brothers, Terrance, Timothy and Theodore.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today in St. Paul Catholic Church, 33 Victoria Blvd., Kenmore, after prayers at 9:45 in Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst.

[D/WILLIAMS]

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