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Martin G. Roberts, funeral director, founder of Kenmore Mortuary Services

March 20, 1955 – Aug. 12, 2014

Martin G. Roberts, of Amherst, a third-generation funeral director, died Tuesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 59.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1974 graduate of Bishop Fallon High School, attended Erie Community College and graduated from the Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse in 1977.

He served his residency with his father, Thomas, and uncles at George J. Roberts & Sons Funeral Home.

Mr. Roberts purchased the Warren B. Austin Funeral Home in 1981 with his father and brother, George. Two years later they purchased the Dohn Funeral Home.

In 1988, he founded D. Tonken Corp., a crematory, and Kenmore Mortuary Services, providing services for other funeral directors. Kenmore Mortuary Services currently is operated by his son, Kenneth.

Mr. Roberts is a former member of the Elmwood Businessmen’s Association and a past Elks Lodge president. He was a member of the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association, the New York State Association of Cemeteries and the Crematory Association of America.

He was known for his generosity in hiring the unemployed and giving them a place to live while they got back on their feet.

An avid New York Yankees fan, he enjoyed gathering family and friends for the Buffalo Bisons’ annual Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra night on Independence Eve at Coca-Cola Field.

Survivors include his wife of nine years, Karen Schlager DiVito, a fifth-generation funeral director; three daughters, Deanna, Rose Falcone and Maria DiVito; three sons, Thomas, Kenneth and Francesco DiVito; a brother, George; three sisters, Julia, Frances and Mary;and seven grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday in St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 1317 Eggert Road at Main Street, Eggertsville.

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