Share this article

print logo

Stanley F. Murak, WWII Navy veteran, GM worker

April 15, 1921 - April 29, 2015

Stanley F. Murak, a Navy veteran of World War II, died Wednesday at his Amherst home. He was 94.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Murak sailed the world with the Navy between 1942 and 1946. He served aboard Joseph Squires and Arthur Riggs, which were Liberty ships; SS Argentina, a troop ship; and African Sun, a cargo ship. During his last assignment, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, he was among those who survived torpedo and Kamikaze attacks in May 1945.

During his military service, Mr. Murak survived a near drowning, resulting in a lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother, to whom he attributed his rescue.

After the war, he worked 31 years as a production repairman for General Motors’ Tonawanda engine plant, retiring in 1977.

A dedicated parishioner at St. James Parish in Buffalo, he was a member of the parish council, a Eucharistic minister, former president of its Holy Name Society and a longtime Catholic Charities chairman.

In the 1970s, he received the St. Joseph the Worker Award from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Mr. Murak also was a 58-year member and two-time former president of Canisius College Sodality of the Annunciation.

He was a 10-gallon Red Cross blood donor and chaired the blood drive at St. James for many years. He also was a former University District committeeman.

In retirement, Mr. Murak worked as a starter for the Buffalo Parks Department at the Delaware Park and Grover Cleveland golf courses from the late 1970s until the late 1980s.

A former resident of Buffalo’s Kensington-Bailey neighborhood, he was appointed to the first board of directors for Neighborhood Housing Services. He also was appointed by then-Mayor James D. Griffin to the Buffalo Charter Revision Commission.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, the former Melania Rzepka; four sons, Lawrence, Richard, Paul and Daniel; 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 1317 Eggert Road, Amherst.