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Thomas C. Golombek, retired Buffalo firefighter; Oct. 27, 1928 -- May 14, 2012

Thomas Casimir Golombek of Buffalo, a retired Buffalo firefighter, died unexpectedly Monday in Mercy Hospital. He was 83.

Born in Buffalo, he attended St. Stanislaus School and left St. Francis High School in 1944 to join the Navy. He served as a hospital corpsman in World War II and the Korean War.

Returning from service, he apprenticed at his father's funeral home on Buffalo's East Side, then became a local and regional truck driver for Interstate Systems. A driver for 27 years, he was a member of the Teamsters.

He joined the Buffalo Fire Department in 1962 and was a driver and medic assigned to Ladder 1. He earned several commendations and retired in 1982.

Mr. Golombek also owned and operated a tavern, Tom's Hideaway, on Weiss Street in Kaisertown, for about 10 years in the 1960s and 1970s.

A third-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, he was twice grand knight of the former Knights of Columbus council on Delaware Avenue. He was Knight of the Year in 1984. He also was a life member of Matthew Glab Post 515, American Legion.

A member of the Civic Sportsmen Club in Kaisertown for more than 50 years, he was a golfer, fisherman and hunter, and was an ardent traveler and boater.

Surviving are his wife of 38 years, the former Diana H. Zoyhofski; two sons, John and Thomas C. Jr.; two daughters, Laura A. Piccillo and Sarah A. Laskowski; a brother, John; and a sister, Eleanor Clark.

His cousin Monsignor Robert Golombek will offer a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 368 Peckham St. near Fillmore Avenue.