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Robert K. Duerr, former North Tonawanda judge

Dec. 24, 1926 – Sept. 2, 2015

Robert Kenneth Duerr, a veteran attorney and former North Tonawanda City Court judge, died Wednesday in his North Tonawanda home from complications associated with Alzheimer’s. He was 88.

He was born and lived his entire life in North Tonawanda

He attended St. Mark Lutheran School, graduated from North Tonawanda High School, attended Canisius College and earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

He was a member of the law school’s Golden Gavel Society and had an award named after him at the law school. The “Duerr Award” was created to honor graduates whose exemplary personal and professional lifestyles enhances the school’s reputation in their own communities. He was a member of the Sigma Delta Kappa Law fraternity.

Mr. Duerr was captain of his North Tonawanda football team his senior year and played football at Canisius and Valparaiso.

He served as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army from 1953-55.

Mr. Duerr began practicing law in North Tonawanda in 1955. He was an assistant Niagara County district attorney from 1958 to 1967.

He was elected North Tonawanda City Court judge and served from 1980-1995.

He was a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in North Tonawanda, where he served as board president and elder.

He also served as president and treasurer of Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Tonawanda.

He was a member of the Rotary Club, America Legion, Sikora Post, Gratwick Hose, Dom Polski, the Boys Club of the Tonawandas, the board of DeGraff Memorial Hospital and the Niagara County and Tonawandas bar associations.

Mr. Duerr was known for taking immaculate care of the yard at his home on Christiana Street, his backyard cookouts and attending Valparaiso homecomings.

He was a longtime Buffalo Bills season ticket holder and traveled to all their Super Bowl games and many away games over the years.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Caroline Czamanske; three sons, the Rev. Robert K. Jr., Timothy and David; four daughters, Mary Stettner, Ruth Ortiz, Rebekah Stayner and Sarah Anderson; a brother Richard; 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren;.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1135 Oliver St., North Tonawanda.

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