John J. Plevniak, a World War II veteran and retired business owner from East Amherst, died Tuesday in Veterans Affairs Medical Center after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 88.
Mr. Plevniak was born in Clarence Center, attended St. Mary's High School and dropped out at age 17 to enlist in the Marine Corps during World War II. He later earned his general equivalency diploma. Mr. Plevniak served in the South Pacific. After the war, he served in the Military Police and was based in Pasadena, Calif.
He returned to Western New York and worked various jobs over the years, including at the Wurlitzer factory, General Motors and Tunmore Auto.
He bought Tunmore's collision shop and changed the name to Big John's Collision, which he ran for about 30 years. He retired in 1995.
Mr. Plevniak was a member of the the Alfred J. Jurek Post 1672, American Legion, and a member of Temple Beth Am. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, the former Jael Caro, and a daughter, Kelly.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today in Amherst Memorial Chapel, 281 Dodge Road.