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Softball circles mourn late umpire Mike Terlecky

Mike Terlecky  received many honors and held many positions as an umpire and referee, but his greatest distinction may have been the respect he earned from players and coaches for his fairness and enthusiasm.

P. Michael Terlecky, Ph.D, of Williamsville died Saturday of cancer at age 74.

The 1965 University at Buffalo graduate officiated many sports but was best known for his work behind the plate in baseball and softball, especially women’s softball.

“He was the glue that held the Western New York umpires together,” said Chris Hope, an officiating colleague. “He did all the teaching. He was the umpire-in-chief at the Aunt Rosie’s softball events five weekends in the summer. He worked really hard. He will be a loss to the officiating community, especially in the sport of softball.”

News of his death drew reactions from the local softball community on social media.

From Canisius College softball: “From our entire program, thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of longtime MAAC softball umpire Mike Terlecky, who passed away on Saturday morning. Rest In Peace, Mike.”

From Clarence High softball: “Very very sad to hear of Mike Terlecky’s passing. Good friend, great guy, awesome umpire!”

From Lancaster High softball: “Extremely sad to learn of the passing of umpire Mike Terlecky this morning. Mike was a great man and was so dedicated to our sport. He will be greatly missed. …”

Terlecky worked Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference softball games at Canisius and Niagara and umpired high school sectional, regional and state competition.

He was regional umpire-in-chief for USA Softball (formerly ASA) and was inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Terlecky also officiated women’s college basketball and was an officiating observer for the Mid-American Conference in the sport. He was a respected clinician, training young baseball and softball umpires especially those starting off in Babe Ruth Baseball and other youth leagues.

He also officiated volleyball and girls soccer.

Away from sports, Terlecky had a career as a certified professional hydro geologist with a doctorate from the University of Rochester.

After service in the Air Force, he was head of Environment and Energy Sciences Section at Cornell Aeronautical Lab (now Calspan Corp.) He retired as president of Frontier Technical Associates, Inc., an environmenal engineering and consulting firm in Williamsville. In 2013 retired after 40 years as an adjunct professor of environmental studies at UB. Up to his death, he continued as a principal at Hydro-Geo Ltd.

He was a member of several sports officiating organizations including the New York State Baseball Umpires Association, of which he was a vice president. He was also vice president of the Western New York Chapter of the state umpires group.

Terlecky umpired games as recently as 2017 and was planning to return to the field this year even while he was undergoing his cancer treatment and rehabilitation .

Funeral services for Terlecky will be at 8:45 a.m. on Friday from St. Gregory the Great Church on Maple Road in Williamsville.

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