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Eugenia D. Platek, 96, retired Amherst Street business owner provided link to the past

May 16, 1922 – Nov. 19, 2018

Eugenia D. "Gena" Platek, a retired business owner who provided a link to the past for Black Rock historians, died Nov. 19 under hospice care in her Town of Tonawanda home. She was 96.

Born Eugenia Schunke in Buffalo, she grew up in an apartment over D.B. Schunke Furniture Co. at 463 Amherst St., which her father founded in 1910.

She worked in the store as a girl, running errands, and continued there after she graduated from Riverside High School in 1939, accompanying her father on out-of-town trips to buy furniture and appliances for the store.

When her father retired in 1970, she became co-owner with her two sisters, Irene Ruszaj and Florence Kubala, and managed the business full time.

After the store closed in 1985, she was a literacy volunteer, teaching English to foreign students. She also was a volunteer with Ken-Ton Meals on Wheels as a driver and delivery person until she was 93.

In recent years, Mrs. Platek contributed items to the Black Rock Historical Society and provided names of people who appeared unidentified in old photos.

A gardener and an avid reader, she was a member of the Kenmore Garden Club and the Amherst Book Club. She also loved to play cards and taught card games to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was active in Beta Sigma Phi sorority for more than 40 years and was honored as its 1989-1990 Woman of the Year.

A swimmer and horseback rider as a youth, she took up golf in her 50s and excelled at the game. She and her husband were members of Bridgewater Country Club, where she played in the women’s league and won several tournaments.

Her husband of 52 years, Frederick J., a deputy Buffalo police commissioner, died in 1998.

Survivors include three daughters, Claudia Kania, Carol Brownscheidle and Cathleen; a son, Frederick J. Jr.; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Nov. 24 in St. Amelia’s Catholic Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda.

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