Deaths    Death Notices

  • Published


PIJANOWSKI - Raymond E. October 4, 1922 - October 3, 2016, Raymond "Mr. Visniak" Pijanowski, President of Saturn-Visniak Beverages Co. died on Monday three days before his 94th birthday. Born in Buffalo, Ray graduated from Sloan High School and attended the University at Buffalo while working with his father Edward Pijanowski in the family's soft drink manufacturing business, Visniak Beverage Company. In 1944, Ray was drafted in the U. S. Army Air Corps supply division of the 102nd and was stationed in England during the height of World War II. After the war, he returned home and resumed his duties at Visniak. In 1949, Ray met the girl of his dreams, a beautiful roller derby star named Esther "Bunny" Skorupa. The couple were wed in 1951 and blessed with three daughters, Kathleen Eastland of Amarillo, Texas, Dale Pijanowski Beightol of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Justyne Preston of Lancaster, New York. Throughout his life, Ray and his wife were active in Buffalo's polish community and well known to business owners throughout Buffalo's east side. His passion for history made him an amazing story teller and unbeatable resource for accurate historical facts. His favorite hobbies were to win at trivia games and listen to live big band music. Ray continued to operate Visniak until 2004 when the last wooden case of birch beer went out the front door of the retail storefront located on Reiman Street in Sloan, New York. Many baby boomers will recall fondly the 7 oz. glass bottles of pop at their First Holy Communion party and church picnics. His retirement years were spent traveling to visit his daughters. He came home to Buffalo, the city he loved, in April 2016 where he passed away. He is preceded in death by his father Edward Pijanowski, mother Hattie Gawel Pijanowski and his sister Eleanore Lenartowicz Bienko. He has left behind his adoring grandchildren, Dr. Jesse Bandle, Emily Key Grear Smith, Nicolas Trivelli, Samantha Preston, Molly Preston, Gabriel Preston and three great-grandchildren, Carolina Smith, Caden Smith and Camille Bandle and two of his biggest fans, his son-in-laws, Rhys Preston and David Beightol who contributed in great part to his care. There will be no service. Donations can be made in Raymond's memory to Hospice Buffalo. Arrangements by the DANIEL R. SMOLAREK FUNERAL HOME. Leave condolences and share memories at

Guest Book

Powered by Facebook