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Peter I. Certo, 63, president and chairman of family business

Sept. 15, 1953 - July 5, 2017

Peter I. Certo was the president and chairman of Certo Brothers Distributing Company, a family business, for the past 25 years.

He was well-respected in the industry, receiving numerous awards for himself and his company, a wholesale distributor of beer, wine and spirits. For the past 31 years, he served as a board member and chairman of the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association. In 1995, he received the organization's SAMMY Award for his achievements. And under his leadership, his company was the recipient of the MillerCoors Presidents Award in 2006, 2011 and 2013 as well as the MillerCoors Responsibility Award in 2014.

Mr. Certo died unexpectedly Wednesday in his Grand Island home. He was 63.

Born in Niagara Falls, Mr. Certo graduated from the former Bishop Duffy High School in 1971 and from Niagara County Community College in 1973.

In 1992, he became president of the family business, which was founded in 1912. He led it through major brand additions of Genesee Beer and Miller Brewing Company as well as the expansion of many brands throughout five Western New York counties after the acquisition of 12 other Western New York wholesalers.

In addition, his company has been the top distributor of Molson Beer for roughly the past 40 years.

A generous benefactor to numerous local charities, Mr. Certo had been a board member of the Niagara County Community College Foundation since 1980. He was also an active supporter of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni and founder of the Lockport Canoe Club.

An avid golfer, Mr. Certo was a member of Park Country Club, River Oaks Golf Club and an honorary member of the Western New York PGA. He also enjoyed swimming and had a passion for aviation and battleships.

In addition to his wife, the former Rose M. Korman, whom he married in 1974, and his mother Natalie, Mr. Certo is survived by three daughters, Sharon M. Chislett, Stephanie and Traci Murphy; four brothers, Andrea Hank Jr., Joseph, Ken and Mark; and three sisters, Cathy Vilardo, Marie DeMont and Dr. Margaret.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 10 in St. Raphael Parish, 3840 Macklem Ave., Niagara Falls.

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