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Michael Barszcz Jr., financial manager, Army pilot

Jan. 12, 1948 – April 30, 2015

Michael Barszcz Jr. of East Amherst, a decorated aviator and retired financial manager who was a captain at the Army Intelligence Center, died unexpectedly April 30 from natural causes. He was 67.

Born in Fort Bragg, N.C., he grew up as the son of an infantryman, living in Japan, Chicago, Arkansas, Germany, Alabama, California and Alaska, where he graduated from East Anchorage High School in 1965.

He attended the Military Academy at West Point in 1969 and later served as an aviator, flying the OV-1 Mohawk battlefield surveillance aircraft with the 131st Military Intelligence Company from 1971 to 1972. Returning from combat, he finished his military service as a captain with the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School in Fort Huachuca.

He was awarded several military citations, including National Defense Service Medal, Army Aviator Badge, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 device.

In 1974, Mr. Barszcz became a chemical engineer at DuPont in Wilmington, Del., and he moved into management positions in the early 1980s. He was transferred to the company’s Niagara Falls plant in the summer of 1984. Thereafter, he became an employee of Olin Chlor Alkali Products division in 1997. After Olin bought out the Niachlor project, a joint venture between DuPont and Olin, he worked at Olin as the financial manager until his retirement in 2006.

His wife of 41 years, the former Patricia E. Fitzgerald, died in 2010.

Survivors include two sons, Michael III and Doug; a daughter, Katie Esposito; two sisters, Michele Nash and Susan Stitt; and six grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Chapel, 6919 Transit Road, Swormville.

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