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Nicholas P. Skorka, ex-Marine, retired bus driver

July 6, 1941 – May 30, 2015

Nicholas P. Skorka, a Marine veteran and retired Buffalo bus driver, died Saturday in Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo after a battle with cancer.

He was 73.

Born in Buffalo and raised on the city’s West Side, Mr. Skorka enlisted in the Marines in 1960 at age 18. He was aboard ship during the Cuban Missile Crisis when a naval barricade was created around Cuba.

After his military service ended in 1964, Mr. Skorka worked for various employers, including Ford Motor Co. and Sears Roebuck. He began his career as a bus driver for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in the mid-1980s.

He retired from the NFTA in the early 2000s, but continued to drive limousines and teach driver education.

Mr. Skorka coached West Side Little League and refereed hockey. He was involved in the Amici Lodge 255, Order of Italian Sons and Daughters of America.

An engaging, colorful character, Mr. Skorka loved to be out and about among people. He also carried his love for the Marines throughout his life, often heard echoing their motto, “Semper Fi.”

Mr. Skorka is survived by his wife of 27 years, the former Diane Biondo; a daughter, Nicole Burroughs; and a son, David, from his marriage to his former wife, Jo Anne Shandraw Skorka; a stepdaughter, Danielle Biondo; and a brother, Arthur.

A celebration of his life will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

A private service will be held Thursday.

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