KRESSE - Robert J., Esq. After a brief illness, Robert James Kresse, Esq., died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his loving family, in Buffalo - the city he lived in, committed to, and loved, on Monday, November 30th, 2020. Bob was born on August 8, 1927 in Buffalo, to Kazimierz and Sophia Kresse; the sixth of seven children. He grew up attending St. Mary of Sorrows Church and School, and Canisius High School, graduating in 1945. He immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy, at the age of 17, and then attended Canisius College, graduating in 1950. He went on to attend Georgetown University School of Law, graduating second in his class of 1953. Returning to Buffalo, Bob joined the law firm (originally) O'Brien, Ulsh, Hellings & Morey, to which he became a named partner in Hellings, Morey, Kresse and Rickers. Bob would later become one of the founding partners of Hiscock and Barclay's Buffalo office, which is now Barclay Damon, LLP. His law career spanned roughly 70 years, focusing on trusts and estates and preservation law, retiring in 2018. Bob had a great sense of humor, loved music, the arts, literature, and playing the piano. He was a man of great principle, ethics, equality of every person, and dedication to his family, friends, clients, and community. Bob's Catholic faith was a basis in his life-- as a friend described, "he possessed an ethical and moral quality that manifested itself in everything he did". He believed strongly in education, particularly that every child, no matter his/her social circumstances, should be exposed to an education as early as possible. That was why Bob became a strong advocate for early childhood programs for the region's youth, helping to establish the first Montessori program open to inner city children on Buffalo's East Side, as well as Buffalo's first charter school at the King Urban Life Center. Bob considered the opportunity that he had to serve as a trustee of the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, for over 35 years, one of the greatest honors of his career. He developed a passion for preserving the architectural history and treasures of WNY through his involvement in the Niagara River Greenway Commission, St. Mary of Sorrows Church, the Roycroft Inn and Arts and Crafts Complex, the Darwin Martin House Complex, Asbury Church, the Genesee Gateway development, the Buffalo Heritage Carousel, the Buffalo Maritime Center, among many other historic and architectural projects. Bob is survived by his beloved and loving wife, Mary Ann, their treasured children and spouses, Joseph (Andrea), Mimi (James) Frederiksen, Ann (Chris) Gegelys, Claire (Ned) White, William (Kelly), Andrew (Jaimie), Bartholomew (Melissa), Thaddeus (Charlotte); their 20 cherished and adored grandchildren; his dear brother Jerome; dozens of nieces, nephews, and cousins; and hundreds of friends. A Mass and Celebration of Bob's Life will be held on Saturday, September 11, at 11:00 AM, at Blessed Trinity Church on Leroy Avenue, in Buffalo.
Robert J., Esq. KRESSE