June 13, 1927 – Aug. 17, 2014
Leonard L. Redlinski, a founder and longtime owner of Paul Redlinski & Sons, one of the area’s best-known meat businesses, died Sunday at his home in West Seneca after a short illness. He was 87.
He was the third of four sons born to Paul Redlinski Sr., a Polish immigrant, and his wife, Martha, the daughter of immigrants. When Leonard was 5, the family moved from Buffalo to a farm in Elma, where he and his brothers attended a one-room schoolhouse.
As a teenager, Mr. Redlinski worked at an East Side butcher shop owned by his uncle, Andy Pietrasek, and when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17, he became a shipboard meat cutter. Following his military service, he found more work as a butcher at stands in the Broadway Market before his father purchased the family’s own spot, Stand 23, and started his sons full time in the meat business in 1947.
Among their most popular items was the kielbasa made from Martha Redlinski’s recipe.
The business thrived and expanded, and, in 1966, the Redlinskis built a sausage shop adjacent to the market.
They also followed customers to the suburbs, opening a store at 1585 Walden Ave., where a fourth generation keeps the family business going.
Mr. Redlinski retired in 1989, and the Broadway Market stand closed in 2002.
In his free time, Mr. Redlinski enjoyed outdoor activities with his family, including boating, waterskiing and fishing.
He was a longtime member of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Elma and received the Presidential Loyalty Award from St. Gabriel’s Holy Name Society in 2011.
He held membership in the Professional and Businessmen’s Association, which honored him in 2000 as its Man of the Year; Hank Nowak Post 45, AMVETS; St. John Neumann and Father John Schaus councils, Knights of Columbus; and the Chopin Singing Society.
Mr. Redlinski married the former Caroline Nowicki, his wife of 38 years, after the death of his first wife, Marion.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Michael and Ronald; a daughter, Valorie Sheehan; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Gabriel Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma, after prayers at 8:45 in Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapel, 4680 Clinton St., West Seneca.