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Donald Gilbert, owner of Corvette Cleaners

Oct. 26, 1944 – Aug. 13, 2015

Services for Donald Gilbert of Amherst, owner and president of Corvette Cleaners, were held Aug. 16 in Amherst Memorial Chapel, Getzville.

Mr. Gilbert died unexpectedly Aug. 13 at his office in Buffalo. He was 70.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Amherst High School and the University at Buffalo. He served in the National Guard, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

As a boy, he worked in the dry cleaning business established by his grandfather in the 1920s. A fancier of Corvette sports cars – he owned 14 of them through the years – he opened his first Corvette Cleaners store in 1967. Through Corvette Associates, he also operated coin laundries and Corvette Plaza retail properties.

Proud of his relationship with his employees, he provided jobs for refugees newly arrived in the area and for the disabled through Allentown Industries.

He annually gave them gift cards and gift certificates for the holidays. He also provided complimentary cleaning for rabbis, priests and ministers for their clerical garments, altar cloths and other religious items.

A boating enthusiast, he was a member of the Buffalo Launch Club for more than 35 years. He also enjoyed jazz and was an avid wine collector who toured the wine regions of France and Italy. He vacationed every winter in Barbados.

He was a member of Temple Beth Tzedek.

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, the former Mary Margaret Farrell; a son, Todd Tanner; a brother, Howard; a sister, Ronna; and a grandson.

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