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John J. Kaczor, funeral director for 60 years

Oct. 26, 1932 – Jan. 23, 2015

John J. Kaczor of Hamburg, who was a funeral director for nearly 60 years, died Friday in Father Baker Manor, Orchard Park, after a brief illness. He was 82.

Born in Lackawanna, Mr. Kaczor was a 1951 graduate of St. Francis High School. A star athlete, he earned All-Catholic honors in football and basketball, and in 1985 was inducted into the Very Rev. Rufinus Niedziecki Memorial Sports Hall of Fame at St. Francis.

Mr. Kaczor received a bachelor of science degree from Canisius College in 1955, then served in the Navy.

Afterward, he graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in 1960.

His maternal grandfather founded the now 103-year-old family funeral business, now in its fourth generation, that bears the Kaczor name. Mr. Kaczor and his wife, the former Josephine Tomasik, used war bond savings to build their first funeral home in Blasdell in 1966. The couple’s son, John S., is carrying on the family tradition in Lackawanna and Hamburg.

A lifelong resident of the Southtowns, Mr. Kaczor was a member of the Erie-Niagara, New York State and national funeral directors associations; he retained his license up until his death.

He was a member of Knights of St. John Commandery 391, Southtowns Rotary Club, Lions Club and Loyal Order of the Moose. He also was a member of various veterans groups, the Cook Owls and the Wacky Wednesday social club.

His wife died in 2010.

In addition to his son, survivors include two daughters, Karen Kerr and Kathleen; five grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and two brothers, Edwin and Dr. Daniel.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, 3688 South Park Ave., Blasdell.