July 13, 1930 - Feb. 2, 2017
Gerald L. "Jerry" Baskey of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired Buffalo lawyer and longtime West Seneca resident, died Feb. 2 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 86.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Baskey left the area as a young child with his family as his father searched for work during the Depression. He graduated from high school in Bound Brook, N.J., while the family lived with his aunt. They moved back to Buffalo in the late 1940s and lived in South Buffalo.
Before studying to become a lawyer, he worked in several factories, including Dunlop Tire, to help earn money for the family. He studied at Canisius College for three years before entering the University of Buffalo Law School. While in law school he worked jobs ranging from taxi driver, bowling pin setter and factory worker at National Biscuit.
While at National Biscuit, he met Alice Szalecki, who would become his wife of 61 years. They married on July 4, 1955.
The Baskeys and their two children - a son born in 1956 and a daughter born in 1957 - lived in the Kenfield neighborhood of Buffalo while he finished law school and she worked as an elementary school teacher.
In 1957, Mr. Baskey graduated cum laude from UB Law School, and earned an honorable mention in the law school's legal draftsmanship contest the same year.
Mr. Baskey, who specialized in liability and accident cases, first joined the Buffalo law firm of Montesano, Baskey and Knapp, then worked briefly for the law firm of Philip Magner. In the 1970s, he formed a partnership with Bart Danahy, specializing in liability cases. Their office was located in Ellicott Square.
Mr. Baskey retired at the age of 51.
In retirement he enjoyed traveling to Spain, Italy, France, England, Scandinavia and the Caribbean. He also enjoyed tennis, bicycling, reading, jogging and pinochle.
When his wife developed Parkinson's disease, Mr. Baskey became her caregiver for many years.
Survivors in addition to his wife include one son, Michael; a daughter, Patricia Dowling; a brother, Frank; a sister, Anne Marie Krause; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered in St. Timothy's Catholic Church, Town of Tonawanda.