Feb. 1, 1920 – July 22, 2015
Leonard J. Smolarek, a World War II veteran and retired Cheektowaga police chief, died Wednesday in Fox Run Orchard Park. He was 95.
Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Sloan High School and earned a criminal justice degree from Erie Community College.
He served in the Coast Guard from 1941 to 1946.
Mr. Smolarek embarked on his 38-year career in law enforcement with the Cheektowaga Police Department as a police officer, serving from 1949 to 1966.
He later was promoted to police captain and held that position until 1984. He retired as chief in 1987.
A longtime member of Western New York Association of Retired Law Enforcement Personnel Inc. and International Association of Chiefs of Police, Mr. Smolarek also was instrumental in forming the Captains and Lieutenants Association, a union organization.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Angeline Goszewski; two daughters, Elizabeth Stockdill and Ann Marie Morseon; and three grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 43 Argyle Place, Orchard Park.