Jan. 5, 1950 – March 4, 2019
Edward J.P. Drabczyk, a longtime supervisor of security at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, was diligent about protecting the gallery's many priceless and irreplaceable paintings and sculptures.
"He took a lot of pride in training his security guards properly. It was important to him to provide visitors with an experience that was pleasurable but also very safe," said his daughter, Mary Lucy Drabczyk.
Mr. Drabczyk, 69, died March 4 in the Beechwood Continuing Care Center following a brief illness.
He was active with many charities and community groups and also taught courses in criminal justice at Hilbert College for 25 years.
The Town of Tonawanda resident enjoyed giving back to his community by helping causes that he believed in, said his daughter.
Born in Niagara Falls and raised in the Town of Tonawanda, Mr. Drabczyk was a graduate of Kenmore East High School. After high school, he enlisted in the Army, serving in Germany during the Vietnam War. After his military service, he enrolled at Genesee Community College, where he met fellow student Mary Ann Penepent, whom he would marry. He later attended Buffalo State College, where he earned degrees in criminal justice.
He worked private security jobs until 1987, when he was hired at the Albright-Knox as the art gallery’s manager of security and safety, a position he held until retiring from security work in 2010.
Mr. Drabczyk recently celebrated his 25th year as an adjunct instructor at Hilbert College, where he taught in the Criminal Justice Department. For his dedication to teaching, he was honored by Buffalo State College with the Criminal Justice Educator of the Year award.
A Democrat who sometimes crossed party lines based on whom he considered the best candidate, he enjoyed volunteering in local political campaigns. He was a member of the Citizens Police Academy and the Citizens Emergency Response Team in the Town of Tonawanda; past president of the Criminal Justice Alumni Association at Buffalo State College; board member of the American Society for Industrial Security; and a member of St. Christopher Parish in the Town of Tonawanda, where he volunteered as an usher, coordinated parking for the annual Summerfest and was vice president of the Parish Council’s Strategic Planning Committee and the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
He also volunteered his time to coordinate security at the convent of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph in Hamburg and was a supporter of the volunteer-run Brighton Place Library in the Town of Tonawanda.
His wife of 43 years died in 2017.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 9, at St. Christopher’s Church, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda.