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Richard S. Kwieciak, civilian, military attorney ; Oct. 14, 1944 -- Dec. 31, 2010

Richard S. Kwieciak, of Hamburg, an attorney whose career combined civilian and military practices, died Friday. He was 66.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Canisius High School and Canisius College and earned a law degree from the University at Buffalo.

After graduating, he became a captain in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps and became a courts martial defense counsel at Fort Meade, Md. In 1972, he served in Vietnam as a senior legal adviser for Military Assistance Command Vietnam Special Troops and was U.S. liaison officer to the Vietnamese minister of justice and Vietnamese Supreme Court. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

Mr. Kwieciak returned to Buffalo in 1974 and became a partner in the law practice started by his father, Stanley Sr., in 1933. They specialized in estates and corporate law. His son, Stanley III, who also served in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, joined the firm last year.

Upon his return, Mr. Kwieciak also joined the Army National Guard, becoming senior legal adviser to the 221st Engineer Group at the Connecticut Street Armory. For his final Army assignment, he was staff judge advocate for the 42nd Infantry Division in Troy. A colonel upon his retirement in 1996, he was placed on the retired list as a brigadier general.

He also taught for 10 years as an adjunct faculty member for the UB Law School, lecturing on estate practice and procedure.

Under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of the Army, he served as an ombudsman on employment issues faced by soldiers returning from active duty. He also was a court-certified mediator for U.S. District Court.

He was a member of the Erie County Bar Association; the New York State Bar Association; the Buffalo Canoe Club; Lorenzo Burrows Post 78, American Legion; and the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 40 years, the former Jane Bartkowiak; a brother, Stanley Jr.; and a sister, Janet Ruff.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday in Villa Maria Convent Chapel, 600 Doat St. Burial will be in Arlington (Va.) National Cemetery.


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