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Joseph Deschenes, 91, autoworker, bar owner

Nov. 9, 1921 – April 17, 2013

Joseph “Frenchy” Deschenes, an autoworker, bar owner and field manager for the New York State Lottery, died Wednesday in DeGraff Memorial Hospital, North Tonawanda. He was 91.

Born in Hamilton, Ont., Mr. Deschenes served in World War II with the Canadian Army in England. He also was a mounted police officer with the Ontario Provincial Police in Hamilton.

After coming to Buffalo in 1953, he worked at the Chevrolet plant on East Delavan Avenue. From 1969 to 1977, he owned Frenchy’s Bestway Inn, a tavern at Genesee Street and Montana Avenue, then was a contract driver and deliveryman for Pepsi-Cola. For several years, he was a field manager for the Lottery. He retired in 1986.

Mr. Deschenes was vice chairman of the Democratic Committee in Buffalo’s University District. He was a member of the American Legion and the Canadian Legion.

A member of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, he was president of the Holy Name Society, a bingo worker and an usher.

A former resident of Buffalo and Williamsville, he enjoyed golfing, fishing and hunting with his sons.

He had been a resident of Seneca Health Care Center in West Seneca for the past three years.

His wife of 61 years, the former Marie Slattery, died in 2007.

Surviving are three sons, Ron, Bill and Dan; and two daughters, Terri Wagner and Alice Wagner.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Blessed Trinity Church, 317 Leroy Ave.

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