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Leonard J. Bigaj, retired machinist, sportsman

Aug. 19, 1947 — March 15, 2015

Leonard J. Bigaj, a lifelong Lackawanna resident and avid angler, died Sunday in Mercy Hospital. He was 67.

Born at home in Lackawanna, he graduated from Lackawanna High School in 1965. He married a childhood friend, the former Linda Broeneman, in 1969.

In 1971 he was hired as an apprentice at the Ford stamping plant in Hamburg and retired as a machine repairman after 37 years.

Mr. Bigaj was an outdoors enthusiast who served as a board member of the WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited. He was acknowledged by the club with at least 10 awards during his over 20 years of membership, including most recently the Decade of Service Award in 2012.

For over 10 years he chaired the club’s banquet, which raises funds to help preserve, protect and restore cold water fisheries in the U.S. He also served as chairman of the club’s Sportsman Show, where fly fishing techniques are taught.

Mr. Bigaj was a saxophonist with his band, The B-guys. He was a member of the Late Great Chevy car club and chaired several 1950s dances that raised funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In addition to his wife of 45 years, survivors include three daughters, Peggy Bigaj-Sobol, Lee Ann and Kelly; a sister, Theresa Szyszkowski; a brother, Raymond; and four grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 3148 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.

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