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MUNIAK, Dennis, PhD

MUNIAK - Dennis, Ph.D. Dr. Dennis Muniak, of Tonawanda, NY, passed away Monday February 22,
2016 at Hospice Buffalo surrounded by family. He battled pancreatic cancer with formidable courage for nearly three years before finding peace. Dennis grew up in a close Polish family in North Tonawanda, where he learned to appreciate kielbasa, pierogi, and blackberry brandy. There, he attended Our Lady of Czestochowa and graduated from North Tonawanda High School. He is survived and remembered by his wife of thirty years, Dr. Deborah Auger of Bel Air, MD; daughters Lindsey Muniak of Washington, DC and Andrea Muniak of Bel Air, MD; mother Dorothy Sowers of North Tonawanda, NY; sister Linda Tosetto (Dennis) of Lewiston, NY; niece Stephanie Karsten (James Karl) of Williamsville, NY; and the many other family members and friends who loved him. He was predeceased by his father, Benjamin Muniak of Tonawanda, NY. Dennis received his Bachelor's in Geography at SUNY Buffalo and earned a Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He lived in Boston, MA and Baltimore, MD before settling in Bel Air, MD to raise his daughters. Dennis was a faculty member in the Political Science department at Towson University for more than twenty years, where he also co-founded the Metropolitan Studies program. Dennis returned to Buffalo, a city he loved dearly, to receive cancer treatment. Those who knew him will remember his interests were expansive and extended far beyond his academic studies. Dennis adored architecture, especially the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, and he could happily talk about nautical history for days on end. He enjoyed cooking almost as much as he enjoyed eating good food, and he had a brilliant wit. Deeply important to him throughout his life were progressive politics and his Catholic faith. Family and friends are affectionately invited to a Memorial Mass this Friday, February 26 at 10:00 AM at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 73 Adam Street, Tonawanda, NY. In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations in Dennis's memory to the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House at 143 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214.

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