Samuel J. Ciccia, a lifelong West Side resident and owner of Chi Chi's Tool Rental on Grant Street, died Sunday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 78.
Mr. Ciccia was a graduate of McKinley High School. He briefly attended college and served in the Navy starting in 1952. In 1957, he opened Chi Chi's as a hardware store, which he operated with his father, Samuel S.
"It started with his father when somebody borrowed a hammer, and [Samuel S.] said: ‘No, you have to buy it.' Then he asked: ‘Do you want to rent it?' And that's how it started," recalled his wife, the former Linda Doeseckle.
Mr. Ciccia was a board member of the West Side Business and Taxpayers Association. He also was a member of the Western New York Woodturners and National Rental Association. He received numerous awards for woodturning and for carving pieces he made.
Mr. Ciccia was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church, 35 Edward St.
In addition to his wife of 23 years, Mr. Ciccia is survived by a son, Samuel J. Jr.; four daughters, Mary Jo Strain, Shirley Ludington, Juliet Hevland and Shannon Hrynczak; and a sister, Bernadine DeMike.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Louis Church.?