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Paul M. Heintz, toy train store owner, expert in field; Jan. 5, 1943 -- Oct. 20, 2011

Paul M. Heintz, a model train expert who operated a popular store in Clarence for many years, died Thursday in his West Seneca home after a long illness. He was 68.

The Buffalo native was a graduate of Hutchinson-Central Technical High School and went to work for Buffalo Creek Railroad and then South Buffalo Railway. He also sold performance auto and motorcycle parts.

In 1974, he opened Seneca Junction Toy Train World on Seneca Street in West Seneca, near the Buffalo border, turning his love of trains into a full-time occupation.

Mr. Heintz was considered one of the area's foremost authorities on railroading and toy train collecting, and he enjoyed assisting customers in building layouts for their train sets.

His shop moved to South Park Avenue and then Ridge Road before relocating in 1988 to 9999 Main St. in Clarence, where he was one of only a handful of Western New Yorkers who repaired and restored toy trains.

A longtime Buffalo Bills season ticket holder, Mr. Heintz also was a car enthusiast and served as a past president of the Clutch Artists Car Club.

Surviving are his wife of 46 years, the former Janet L. Razzante; a daughter, Elizabeth Riter; and a son, Gregory.

Services will be at 11:30 a.m. today in Hoy Funeral Home, 3855 Seneca St., West Seneca.

[TOKASZ]