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Richard A. Stachnik, 72, rehabilitation counselor

Sept. 26, 1946 – Oct. 25, 2018

Richard A. Stachnik, of the Town of Tonawanda, a rehabilitation counselor, died unexpected Thursday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 72.

Born in Buffalo, he attended St. Florian’s Elementary School and was a graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School. He attended the University at Buffalo, then served in the Army in the Vietnam War with the 13th Engineering Company in Vietnam, attaining the rank of specialist fourth-class.

Returning to UB after Vietnam, he completed a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling.

Mr. Stachnik was a rehabilitation counselor with United Cerebral Palsy in Niagara Falls for many years. Since the early 2000s, he worked with Venture Forthe helping people with traumatic brain injuries.

Active in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, he served on the Bereavement Council, donated clothes to the needy and read the Bible daily. He also drove elderly parishioners to medical appointments and family events.

As a boy, he inherited his father’s devotion to the St. Louis Cardinals, due to their Polish star Stan Musial. He went to see the Cardinals play in Toronto, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. When he coached his son’s Little League team, he named them the Parkside Candy Cardinals.

He also enjoyed basketball and played with 20 friends at Erie Community College on Sunday mornings for more than 30 years. A running enthusiast, he ran 3 to 5 miles several times a week for more than 50 years.

Known for his compassion, he often put his own projects on hold in order to help someone else and provide encouragement.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, the former Roberta “Robbie” Kwapich, a registered nurse at Buffalo General Medical Center; a son, Evan; a daughter, Jennifer; a sister, Kathy Ceckowski; and a grandson.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in St. John the Baptist Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

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