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Dennis F. Van Patten, fast-food restaurant owner

Dec. 19, 1946 – July 12, 2016

Dennis F. Van Patten, of East Amherst, a fast-food restaurant owner who helped bring a chapter of Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities to the Buffalo area, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. He was 69.

Mr. Van Patten owned three McDonald’s franchises – in Buffalo on Niagara Street and at Main and Mohawk streets, and in North Tonawanda on Meadow Drive – from 1983 to 1996 and received numerous Outstanding Store Awards.

In addition to his work with Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, he helped start the Western New York McDonald’s All-American All-Stars Basketball Game to help raise funds and give boys and girls a chance to play.

He opened an Anderson’s Frozen Custard shop on Delaware Avenue in North Buffalo and operated it from 1998 to 2004. He later opened a Jim’s Steakout sandwich shop on Seneca Street in West Seneca and operated it from 2008 until his death.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1965 graduate of Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga and attended the University at Buffalo.

He operated a Sharkey’s Seafood Restaurant in the 1970s and worked as a manager and supervisor at McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants before acquiring his own franchise.

An avid golfer, he also enjoyed bowling and fishing. He maintained a summer home at Pleasant Beach in Sherkston, Ont.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, the former Linda Twardy; two sons, Shawn and David; two brothers, Lester and Timothy; and a grandson.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Dengler Roberts Perna Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst.

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