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Eileen Tomaka, 88, attorney, pianist, fashion plate

April 23, 1931 - March 23, 2020

Eileen Tomaka, of Orchard Park, a trailblazer as a female lawyer in private practice starting in the 1950s, died March 23 in Mercy Hospital. She was 88.

Ms. Tomaka was born in Lackawanna and attended Lackawanna High School.

While a teenager, she studied voice and sang on radio and at several public functions. She studied French at the University at Buffalo and earned a bachelor of arts degree.

She then decided to enter the University at Buffalo Law School, where she wrote and published legal articles while on the Buffalo Law Review.

After law school, she began a private practice in Lackawanna, specializing in personal injury law.

"She was in solo practice at a time when women weren't really doing much on their own," her brother, Dr. Edwin Tomaka, said.

She gained fame for her stylish clothing that she would wear to court.

She is survived by her brother and a niece, Donnalee Tomaka.

A funeral service will be held at 9:15 a.m. Friday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica.

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