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Joseph M. Ralabate, trial lawyer, taught at UB

March 25, 1926 – Dec. 22, 2015

Joseph M. Ralabate, of Williamsville, a trial attorney, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 89.

Born in Buffalo, he attended St. Louis Elementary School and was a 1943 graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, where he ran on the track and cross-country teams.

He was co-captain of the team that won the city high school cross country championship in 1942 and was chosen as a member of the 1942 Buffalo Evening News and Buffalo Courier-Express all-high cross country teams. In 1942-43, he was president of the Our Lady of Loretto CYO.

He attended Bryant & Stratton Business Institute for a semester, then enlisted in the Naval Air Corps officer training program. While serving, he attended the University of Rochester, Hobart College and Holy Cross College in Worchester, Mass.

After graduating in 1949 from the University of Buffalo Law School, he worked in the law offices of Judge Anthony Manguso and attorney Charles Battaglia in Buffalo.

Mr. Ralabate entered private practice in 1955, doing estate planning and elderlaw and representing plaintiffs in injury cases. He formed the partnership of Ralabate, Galbo & Schuetze with Thomas S. Galbo and Mark M. Schuetze in 1985. Later it became Ralabate and Galbo. He was awarded the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent, the highest rating.

He served as a director of the Erie County Bar Association, the Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York and the UB Law School Alumni Association.

For more than 25 years, he was a clinical assistant professor at the UB Dental School, where he taught a course on dental jurisprudence.

An avid fisherman, he fished many lakes in New York State and Ontario. He maintained a winter home in Boca Raton, Fla.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, the former Rose M. Losi; two daughters, Deborah L. Wiseman and Melissa A. Bader; a brother, Frank T.; a sister, Antoinette Buono; five grandsons and one great-granddaughter.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Monday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.

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