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Leo M. Townsell, former co-owner of Hotel Statler Sept. 10, 1929 -- Aug. 23, 2011

Leo M. Townsell, a former co-owner of the Hotel Statler and other well-known properties in the Buffalo area, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Hospital after a long illness. The Eggertsville resident was 81.

A native of Caney, Kan., Mr. Townsell moved to Western New York as a teenager before graduating from St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in 1947 and Canisius College four years later.

Starting in high school, Mr. Townsell worked as a delivery boy in a stationery store and stayed there for 16 years, managing the store's furniture division the last 10 years.

He then joined a real estate management company, leasing and managing office buildings, shopping centers, apartments and industrial properties, mostly in Buffalo, but also in Rochester, Cincinnati and Houston.

In 1972, along with two other investors, he purchased the Hotel Statler. Mr. Townsell also was part of a group that purchased the Airways Hotel and Shannon Pub in 1981, before selling them later for the Buffalo airport expansion project. He also owned the Buffalo Brew Pub, among other properties.

Frisbee, tennis and crossword puzzles were among his hobbies.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Aileen Horan; four sons, John W., Mark I., Kevin M. and Brian J.; a daughter, Tricia; and three sisters, Sister Dorothy Townsell, Catherine Voisinet and Mildred Willett.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Monday in Christ the King Church, Lamarck Drive and Main Street, Snyder.

[g/warner]

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