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Francis X. Elinski, retired teacher, police officer

Sept. 25, 1931 – July 16, 2013

Francis X. Elinski, of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired teacher and police officer, died Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda, after a short illness. He was 81.

Born in North Tonawanda, he was a 1949 graduate of North Tonawanda High School and served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

Returning from service, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1955 and earned his master’s degree from the University of Buffalo. He also attended the University of Minnesota.

After teaching at Cardinal Dougherty High School, Mr. Elinski began his career in the Tonawanda City School District in 1963. A Tonawanda High School English teacher, he retired in 1996.

He joined the New York State Park Police in 1961, stationed in Niagara Falls, and served as a police officer until 1993. His proudest moment as a police officer came when he apprehended a murder suspect without using a gun.

A member of the Marine Corps Reserve from 1953 to 1959, he was a member of the Marine Corps League and served as commandant of Conrad Kania Detachment 20 and area vice commandant. He also was a former commander of Stephen Sikora Post 1322, American Legion.

One of the founders of the Tonawanda Education Association, he served as president of the union. He also was a former president and treasurer of the United Way of the Tonawandas.

A former Erie County Democratic committeeman, he was a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church and the Amherst Male Glee Club.

His wife of 57 years, Madelyn C. Ryan Elinski, died in January 2012.

Surviving are six daughters, Karen M., Kathleen L., Kristi A. McAleer, Karyl, Kim M. and Jacquelin D.; two sons, Kevin F. and Dennis M.; and a sister, Carole A. Winder.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Monday in St. Andrew Church, 1525 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.

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