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Frederick J. Labenski, owner of World Auto Parts; March 5, 1925 -- April 22, 2011

Frederick J. Labenski, president and owner of World Auto Parts, died Friday in Millard Fillmore Hospital. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Seneca Vocational High School and served in the Army during World War II in the Rhineland, Germany.

Mr. Labenski later worked as a machinist at Bell Aircraft and studied at the University of Buffalo and Millard Fillmore College as a business major.

He started his career in the automotive industry at Interstate Auto Parts and ITT Aimco Brake. He was a member of Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association. At age 45, he started his own business, World Auto Parts of Buffalo, a buyer and seller of new and used auto parts.

From 1970 to 1990, Mr. Labenski employed inmates from the Work Release Program. Through Catholic Charities' Relocation Program, he also employed refugees from Southeast Asia.

Mr. Labenski stayed on as consultant to the company for three years after he sold it in the early 1990s. He also owned several industrial properties and 25 race horses. He collected antique autos.

He was a lifelong member of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Amherst.

His wife of 54 years, Monica Truty Labenski, died in 2002.

Survivors include two daughters, Christine Berkowitz and Theresa Symmonds.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Tuesday in St. Leo the Great Church, 885 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.

[MCNEIL]

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