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Michael R. Hayhurst, 71, captain of the Miss Buffalo cruise boats

April 12, 1946 – Oct. 6, 2017

Michael R. Hayhurst, owner and captain of the Miss Buffalo and Niagara Clipper cruise boats, died Friday in his Orchard Park home after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 71.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1964 graduate of Bishop Timon High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Bonaventure University. He served in the National Guard.

Mr. Hayhurst began working for Sen-Wel Industries, a steel fabricating business started by his father, George, and was president when he left the firm in 1983 to devote full time to boat chartering business.

With his brothers, John “Jack” and Richard, he established Buffalo Charters in 1971 with the Miss Buffalo, a boat owned by his father. The Miss Buffalo II was added in 1981 and the Niagara Clipper was launched in 1988.

Mr. Hayhurst retired at the end of the sailing season in 2016. His son, Ryan, operates the business.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Brigitte Emrich; a daughter, Sara Diem; two brothers, John and Patrick; four sisters, Mary K. Diemer, Joyce Kalinowski, Anne and Arlene; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. George’s Catholic Church, 74 Old Glenwood Road, West Falls.

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