Sept. 3, 1921 – Oct. 15, 2018
Eugene J. Stoklosa, a retired mechanic and World War II veteran, died Monday in his Cheektowaga home. He was 97.
Born in Buffalo, the fourth of five children, he attended Depew High School, but left to help support his family during the Depression.
Drafted into the Army shortly after he married Regina “Wanda” Witczak, he served in World War II as a topographical engineer and driver in the Philippines and New Guinea.
Returning from service, he was a crane operator at Bethlehem Steel and later at Seneca Steel.
He had helped his father repair cars as a boy and, with his wife’s encouragement, took a lease in 1966 on a Texaco station on Harlem Road near Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga.
In the 1970s, he moved to another station at 720 Dick Road, Depew, and operated Gene’s Sunoco until he retired in 1983. His son Ray took over the business and operates it as Stoklosa Service in Elma.
Skilled as a woodworker, he built cabinetry and many pieces of furniture for his family.
“He did excellent work. He kept working into his 90s," his son Ray said, “I asked him, ‘Why didn’t you do this for a living?’ and he said, ‘Then I would hate it.’ ”
He was a member of American Legion Post 0001, National Chapter, and the Polish Falcons of America in Cheektowaga.
He also was a member of the Holy Name Society at the former Mother of Divine Grace Catholic Church in Cheektowaga and was a volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
His wife died in 1987.
Survivors include seven daughters, Regina Cipriani, Juanita Nowakowski, Dorothy Martorana, Rosemary Tonner, Judy Smith, MaryJo Courtin and Tanya Stoklosa; three other sons, James, Donald and Edward; 25 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga.