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John H. Hackney, 88, cancer researcher, active in Trinity Baptist Church

Sept. 12, 1929 – Aug. 15, 2018

John H. Hackney, of Buffalo, a cancer researcher and deacon in Trinity Baptist Church, died Wednesday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 88.

Born in Buffalo, the fourth of six children, he attended Schools 32 and 31 and was a graduate of Fosdick Masten High School. In 1951, he became the second African-American student to graduate from the University of Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. He also was a member of the track team.

He went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration at UB and, as a graduate student, was an instructor in the pharmacy lab.

After working at several local drug stores as a licensed pharmacist, he became a laboratory technician at what was then Roswell Park Memorial Institute in 1954 and later became a cancer research scientist.

He authored or co-authored several scientific papers published in scholarly journals. In 1990 he became Roswell Park’s affirmative action officer. He retired in 1992.

Mr. Hackney was a member of Trinity Baptist Church for more than 80 years and served as a deacon, trustee and treasurer. He also was superintendent of the Sunday school.

He served as president of the Deacon Alliance of Western New York and was a life member of the NAACP and the Urban League. He was a former treasurer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a life member and treasurer of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and chaplain of the Black Leadership Forum.

He also was a charter member of the Near East and West Side Community Health Task Force and a member of the Buffalo Environmental Management Commission.

The Buffalo Branch NAACP honored him with its Daniel Acker Community Service Award in 2007.

A Cub Scout and an Air Scout as a boy, he had a lifelong fascination with flying and built many model planes. He was a charter member of the Clarence Flying Club and a member of Chapter 46, Experimental Aircraft Association.

His wife of 56 years, the former Wanda Smith, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Erie County Medical Center, died in 2010.

Survivors include two daughters, La Donna and Tiffany Williams; two sons, J. Kevin and Eric; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at noon Friday, Aug. 25, in Trinity Baptist Church, 2926 Bailey Ave.

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