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Donald J. Telaak, Artisan Kitchens & Bath founder

March 19, 1938 - Dec. 19, 2016

Donald J. Telaak,  who forged  a career in the appliances industry, died Monday in  Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, following a short illness. He was 78.

A lifelong resident of Western New York, Mr. Telaak lived in both Amherst and Longboat Key, Fla.

He graduated from St. Joseph Collegiate Institute and studied at Canisius College. An Army veteran, he served from 1956-58.

Mr. Telaak worked for the Tappan Co. from 1961 to 1977 and was honored as Tappan Man of the Year 10 times. He later founded Telaak Distributing Corp. with his brother Norman. They purchased Appliance Associates in 1990 and in turn founded Artisan Kitchen & Bath on Amherst Street in Buffalo. Mr. Telaak  retired in 2014.

Active in the community, he was a member of the  Transit Valley Country Club, Buffalo Ad Club, Knights of Columbus, Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, Amherst Jaycees and St. Joseph Collegiate Institute Alumni Association.  Mr Telaak was named a JCI senator for his community work.

Survivors include  his wife of 54 years, the former Elaine Reeder; and two sons, Donald Jr. and Kevin.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Thursday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, Amherst.

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