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Covid-19 claims devoted dad who loved sports, cards

William J. Pujolas thought nothing of getting up at 5 a.m. to chauffeur his daughter and her friends to the local ice rink for figure skating practice.

He loved sports and was willing to go the extra mile, Liz Pujolas said of her father.

When he was admitted to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital last Friday as a Covid-19 patient in need of comfort care, a hospital employee turned on some soothing music in his room. But Pujolas’ children knew he would prefer something else.

“We turned on the television to ESPN. He loved sports and would even watch reruns of games,” said Liz Pujolas of her 85-year-old dad.

Pujolas died May 10 while the cable sports channel was on. “The speaker was right by his ear.”

Pujolas, a longtime Amherst resident, was also devoted to his country and the community. He was a Korean War Army veteran and served for more than half a century as a member of the Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Company.

For years he organized card games at the fire hall and hosted games at his home with his wife, Betty.

When he became a resident at the Rosa Coplon Living Center, a nursing home on the Weinberg Campus in Amherst, Mr. Pujolas soon organized a weekly card game with fellow residents.

“When the card game was on, he’d leave his phone in his room. He did not want to be interrupted, even if it was for something urgent,” said Paul Pujolas, one of his sons.

Liz Pujolas added, “His Irish charm and wit captured young and old especially those who joined him at the card table.”

Pujolas tested positive April 30 while at Rosa Coplon, his daughter said.

Over the years, Mr. Pujolas supported his family in different sales positions, ranging from selling cars to beer and snack foods.

In addition to his wife, daughter and son, he is survived by another son, Peter, and four grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

The Buffalo News is publishing stories about people from Buffalo Niagara who have died due to Covid-19. Please contact The News at citydesk@buffnews.com if you know of someone whose story we should tell.

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