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Joseph A. Schuh, soccer league founder

April 24, 1941 - May 4, 2015

Joseph A. Schuh, a founding member of the Buffalo & WNY Junior Soccer League, died Wednesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 74.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Schuh came to the United States in 1953, became a citizen three years later and eventually received his diploma from Maryvale High School in Cheektowaga. He played soccer at Maryvale and set several records in track and field.

A soccer player since the age of 3, Mr. Schuh continued playing well into his 50s. He also was a lifetime member and treasurer of the Buffalo & WNY Junior Soccer League and was honored in 2003 with the establishment of the “Joe Schuh Award” – given annually to the team that best exemplifies good sportsmanship.

Mr. Schuh also coached soccer in several leagues, including a girls team in Cheektowaga and his grandchildren’s team in Lancaster and Depew.

Professionally, Mr. Schuh started work as a teller for Liberty Mutual Bank while in high school and, over time, moved up the ladder, retiring as head of credit card fraud for Liberty’s successor, Bank of America. Schuh also was a Sunday school teacher at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Cheektowaga and played on its softball and bowling teams.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, the former Kathleen Michael; a daughter, Mindy Baird; a brother, Hans; two sisters, Hilde Bonhotal and Irma Unger; and several grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Dietrich Funeral Home, 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

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