Deaths Death Notices
SMOLINSKI, Philip D.
SMOLINSKI - Philip D. Phil Smolinski died on November 16, 2017 in Venice, Florida; far from the town of Boston, New York where he was born over the tavern his Dad owned. But his loyalties never strayed far from the small town of his birth. The child of Polish immigrants, he was a strong competitor in all his life's challenges. A high school graduate at the age of 15, he attended Georgetown University for his first year of college. Returning to his eventual college "home" at UB, he played Varsity football, basketball and baseball. Phil signed with the Chicago Cubs, playing pro ball for two years, until leaving in 1958 to coach baseball at the University of Buffalo. He also enjoyed a standout career in semi-pro Canadian play and in the Buffalo News Southtown Baseball League. He was a teacher, athletic director and successful coach at Springville Griffith Institute High School for twenty one years. He found a second career in politics, rising to the post of Erie County Commissioner of Elections for twelve years before retiring to Florida. Through it all, he was the ultimate New York Yankees fan, for which he actually turned an extra bedroom into a pinstripes background for display of his many Yankee souvenirs. He is loved and missed by his wife of 37 years, Mary Ellen; son, Bob Smolinski (Claudia); daughter, Ann Fox (Greg); stepson Don Cane (Meg) and stepdaughter, Michelle Minton (Peter). Eight grandchildren have enjoyed his sense of humor and all-encompassing love. He would be happy knowing that his family's memories of his generosity and love will live in their hearts. A memorial Mass and gathering of friends will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Newman Center on the North UB Campus, located at 495 Skinnersville Road, Buffalo, NY 14228.