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Joseph C. Toscano, retired Bootery owner

Nov. 1, 1932 – July 9, 2015

Joseph C. Toscano of East Amherst, a retired children’s shoe store owner, died July 9 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from the American Shoe Fitting Institute in New Market, N.H., and studied marketing and finance while working at the Shoe Corp. of America from 1955 to 1962. He served in the Army as a corporal in the 4th Infantry Regiment and quartermaster in 5th Infantry Division in Neu-Ulm, Germany, from 1953 to 1955.

Mr. Toscano was a retired owner and operator of Boulevard Mall Bootery, an original tenant of the mall when it first opened in 1962. The Bootery housed a meticulous filing cabinet next to the register, containing index cards of children’s birthdates and ever-growing shoe sizes.

The store was known for a thorough inventory from a baby’s first crib shoe, that many customers later bronzed, to big kids’ shoes in every size and half-size.

Mr. Toscano retired in 1990. His son took over the business until its closing this year.

An avid golfer, he was a member of Transit Valley Country Club and Glen Oaks Country Club.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Mathilde Hofmann; three daughters, Elaine Carr, Kathleen Slayton and Marian Petruso; a son, Joseph W.; a sister, Mary Collura; three brothers, Sam, John and Frank; 12 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered July 14 in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, Amherst.

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