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Peter Baker Flickinger, supermarket developer

Nov. 2, 1928 – Jan. 23, 2014

Peter Baker Flickinger, a business leader and art collector who spent time on philanthropic and charitable projects, died Thursday in his Buffalo home after a short illness. He was 85.

Mr. Flickinger was born in Buffalo and grew up in family homes on Forest Avenue and Rumsey Road in the city.

He attended the campus school at Buffalo State College and then Nichols School, until the ninth grade.

He graduated from the Choate School in Connecticut and from Middlebury College in Vermont.

After college, Mr. Flickinger moved back to Buffalo and started working for the liquor division of S.M. Flickinger Company Inc., a food distribution and retail business that had been founded by his grandfather in 1901.

Mr. Flickinger worked for the company from the early 1950s to 1984, when the business was sold. He served as a vice president and member of the board of directors of the company.

During his career, Mr. Flickinger was a leader in developing many chain and independent stores, and carved out a specialty in real estate for the company.

He was known for his talent at managing market research and analyzing trends for stores. He planned and supervised the construction and outfitting of stores and supermarkets to showcase products that were being sold, and looked at the behavior of consumers in stores, including Red & White groceries, Flickinger grocery stores, and then later on new “supermarket” businesses – including Super Duper stores.

“He became the real estate expert in the company,” said Catherine Schweitzer, a niece. “He was very organized. He was very efficient. He liked systems – he liked making things work.”

Mr. Flickinger retired in 1984.

He spent many years pursuing philanthropic and charitable projects, including restoration work at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, as well as work at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, where he was a trustee, and at Forest Lawn, his family said.

Although he was a Buffalo resident at the time of his death, and lived in the city most of his life, Mr. Flickinger lived in East Aurora, at Orchard House, for more than 20 years. He spent summers at Bay Beach in Ontario for many years.

Mr. Flickinger was a fan of gadgets, family members said, enjoying motors and other items that could improve efficiency and daily life. He enjoyed reading about mechanics and products. He liked to garden, and enjoyed his koi pond with water lilies.

An avid traveler, Mr. Flickinger journeyed around the world, including to China, Europe and Egypt.

He was an avid collector of contemporary art for the past several decades.

Mr. Flickinger was a member of the Saturn Club for more than 50 years.

He was formerly married to Gracia Millard Campbell of Buffalo.

Survivors include his wife, Genevieve; a son, Peter C.; and two daughters, Alexandra K.F. Secor and Heather B. Byrne; two stepdaughters, Gaye E. Campbell-Koncelik and Clarissa L. Vaida; three grandchildren and three stepgranchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel at Forest Lawn in Buffalo.

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