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Joseph A. Gigante, founder of Buffalo Paper Aug. 1, 1939 -- Feb. 26, 2012

Joseph A. Gigante, the founder and operator of Buffalo Paper and Detergent, died Sunday in his Buffalo home. He was 72.

After working as a draftsman for nearly a decade at Westinghouse, Mr. Gigante took a risk in 1970 and used his ingenuity to turn his father's bleach business into a means to provide for his growing family. Buffalo Paper is well known for supplying Buffalo-area restaurants with paper products and cleaning supplies.

He was a graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Erie County Technical Institute.

Mr. Gigante and his wife, the former Rozanne Nucherino, were accomplished dancers and were often seen doing the cha-cha, rhumba and swing on local dance floors. They had always wanted to honeymoon in Cuba for an authentic taste of their favorite music, but due to the embargo they had to settle for Puerto Rico after their 1964 marriage.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Gigante is survived by two daughters, Michelle Gigante-Todaro and Toni Marie; and a son, Joseph V.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday in SS. Columba-Brigid Catholic Church, 418 North Division St.