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Joseph D. Petruso, retired restaurant owner, active in community

May 25, 1922 – July 17, 2015

Joseph D. Petruso of Tonawanda, a longtime restaurant owner who was active in community and political affairs, died Friday at Schofield Residence. He was 93.

Mr. Petruso was born in Meadville, Pa., where he attended local schools. He served in the Army during War World II from 1942 to 1945.

In the restaurant business for 50 years, he managed a restaurant housed in the Reality Federal Credit Union near the Central Terminal and was owner of Joe’s Market Restaurant located in the Broadway Market.

In 1995, Joe’s Market relocated to George Urban Blvd. Shortly thereafter, he sold the business to Kentucky Greg’s Hickory Pit.

Previously, Mr. Petruso worked as a loan officer for Railway Express and Reality Federal Credit Union.

A longtime member of the Broadway Market Merchants Corporation, he served on the board of directors and held various offices including president, chairman, general manager and treasurer.

Deeply involved in politics, he served as a Democrat committeeman for the 87th District and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for Town of Tonawanda councilman in 1969 and 1987.

Active in the community, he served as board member of the Southeast Community Work Center and member at the Work Center for the Disabled, where he volunteered many hours. He served as vice president of the Broadway Fillmore Businessman Association and was a member of the Professional Businessmen’s Association. He was a charter member of the Parkview Community Club and a member of the Braunshidle American Legion.

Mr. Petruso was recipient of the Samuel Goldman Award for Man of the Year in 1994.

His wife of 37 years, the former Mildred F. Young, died in 1981. Survivors include three sons, Benedict R., Michael D. and Randall G.; three daughters, Mary F. Riddoch, Christine A. LoGrasso and Sandra L.; a sister, Mary Schramm; two brothers, Vinnie and Samuel; 15 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Christopher Catholic Church, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda.

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