Sept. 21, 1938 - Oct. 17, 2018
The childhood ambition of a young Daniel Falkowski was to be a garbage collector. That way, he figured, he only needed to work one day a week.
Instead, Mr. Falkowski went on to be a professor of economics and international finance, teaching at several colleges and universities before settling in at Canisius College, where he taught for more than three decades.
Mr. Falkowski of Amherst died Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Elderwood at Amherst after a brief illness. He was 80.
Born in Cleveland, Mr. Falkowski graduated from Collinwood High School and attended Kent State University. As an undergraduate, he worked as an engineer on the railroad, spent time on the debate and wrestling teams and was involved in the theater program, before graduating with his bachelor’s degree. He went on to New York University, where he earned his master’s and doctorate in economics and finance.
It was at NYU, where he met Sonia Lopez-Duran at the Newman Club in 1960. He was a graduate teaching assistant, she was an undergraduate majoring in biology and foreign language. The two would become friends, and despite their impassioned debates about women in the workforce, she agreed to marry him anyway. They were wed in 1966.
Mr. Falkowski taught at NYU, Rider University in New Jersey, Bentley University in Massachusetts and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, before joining the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius in 1975.
Mr. Falkowski was well-published in his field, focusing on monetary policy in the European Union and the euro. He also served as an expert witness and trial consultant, specializing in wrongful death and worker’s compensation cases. Mr. Falkowski taught for more than 30 years at Canisius, where he was named professor emeritus in 2010.
Mr. Falkowski was an avid supporter and volunteer of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, and taught at Attica Correctional Facility, where he helped inmates earn their college degrees. He also spent many years helping build homes, as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He brought that passion with him to work, where he served as the college's director of student recruitment and volunteers for Habitat’s local chapter.
Besides his lifelong love for woodworking, gardening, music and the theater, Mr. Falkowski enjoyed gourmet cooking. He was especially proud of the time he spent studying at the home of the famous chef James Beard.
His love of food also led to an interest in foreign cultures, and Mr. Falkowski traveling the world with his wife.
Besides Sonia, his wife of 52 years, Mr. Falkowski is survived by a daughter, Dr. Tanya Collins; a son, James; and a sister, Joan McCourt.
A celebration of his life will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Lombardo Funeral Home, Northtowns Chapel, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.
A funeral service will follow.