July 21, 1936 – Nov. 30, 2017
Salvatore A. Valvo was a career officer with the Buffalo Police Department whose work as McGruff the Crime Dog sent home an important message to hundreds of schoolchildren throughout the city.
"He was one of the first McGruffs," said Gina Rath, his daughter. "He'd go to the schools dressed up like McGruff telling kids how to stay safe. He genuinely cared about people, my dad."
Mr. Valvo died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital's Palliative Care Unit in Williamsville. He was 81.
A graduate of the former Grover Cleveland High School and Buffalo State College, Mr. Valvo devoted his life to serving others, said Rath. After graduating from college, Mr. Valvo enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was a specialist fourth class.
He married the former Irene Bronzino on April 30, 1960.
As a Buffalo police officer, Mr. Valvo was assigned to former Precinct No. 17 at 98 Colvin Ave., where he worked for more than three decades.
Mr. Valvo was former a president and longtime member of the Italian-American Police Association of Western New York.
"He protected and served in all facets of his life," said his daughter. "But his priority was his family."
After his career and retirement, Mr. Valvo was an active volunteer with the Butler-Mitchell Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Club at 370 Massachusetts Ave.
Mr. Valvo and his wife of 57 years lived in the Town of Lancaster, where he was a volunteer driver for senior services, said Rath.
"They all loved him," she said.
Mr. Valvo was a member the WNY Softball Hall of Fame. He also served on the board of the Police and Firemen's Insurance Association.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Valvo is survived by another daughter, Jacqueline Berdinka; a brother, Anthony; and three grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, 5271 Clinton St., Elma. Entombment will follow in Forest Lawn, 1411 Delaware Ave.