July 19, 1935 - Nov. 9, 2019
Buffalo native and four-time Olympic medalist George Thomas Breen was a standout rower for Bishop Timon High School and the West Side Rowing Club, but it wasn't until he started swimming competitively as a 17-year-old freshman at SUNY Cortland State that Breen really hit his stride.
Mr. Breen went on to represent the United States in two …
Sept. 16, 1928 - Sept. 16, 2019
Norman F. Kirchner, of Clarence, who operated a professional civil and structural engineering firm for many years in Williamsville, knew early on in life what his career choice would be.
His father was an engineer, and Kirchner's son Phillip is, too.
"He was always an analytical sort of fellow, like myself," Phillip Kirchner recall…
Jan. 29, 1973 - Sept. 25, 2019
A celebration of the life ceremony for Buffalo native Jonathan Peter Gilfillan – founder of a Houston, Texas- based commercial real estate company – is scheduled to be held on Nov. 8 at the Park Country Club in Williamsville.
Mr. Gilfillan died Sept. 25 in Houston after a nearly yearlong battle with cancer. He was 46.
Born in Buffalo…
March 21, 1944- May 17, 2019
John L. Fonagy Jr. was a bowling prodigy, meriting a mention in Sports Illustrated.
In 1964, the sports magazine wrote that the 20-year-old had rolled a 759 three-game series (out of a possible 900) to win a singles title in the New York State Bowling Association tournament in Elmira, and that he went on to win the all-events championship…
Dec. 27, 1925 – May 17, 2019
Dr. Roger J. Goergen, a retired dentist who helped write the ethics code for the Town of Amherst, died Friday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 93.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Canisius High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Canisius College. He graduated from the University of Buffalo School…
July 13, 1925 – March 22, 2019
Dr. J. Paul Binette stayed active throughout his life.
Even in retirement, he could still be found working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo.
"I think in order to age gracefully one has to keep occupied," he told The Buffalo News in 2003, when he was 77.
The same held true at his home in North Buffalo. It was commo…
June 17, 1929 - Jan. 24, 2019
Dr. Philip A. LaNasa, a longtime local dentist, died Jan. 24 in Elderwood at Williamsville in Amherst. He was 89.
Born in Geneva, N.Y., he graduated from Bishop Fallon High School in Buffalo and Canisius College.
In 1954, he married Jeanette Scaccia. After Mr. LaNasa graduated from Georgetown University's School of Dentistry, the coup…
June 14, 1948 – Dec. 27, 2018
Henry J. Durand Jr. spent more than two decades at the University at Buffalo, working with students to overcome barriers in their educational, economic or personal background.
But throughout his life, he also found ways to apply his talents away from his job — like teaching people to read, helping prison inmates earn college degrees and …
Jan. 14, 1923-Nov. 27, 2018
Edward J. Carland, who practiced law until the age of 92, died Nov. 27 in Buffalo Hospice in Cheektowaga. He was 95.
Mr. Carland was born in Buffalo and served in the Army during World War II. He graduated from Canisius College and the University of Buffalo Law School, and earned his Ph.D in law from Harvard University.
Mr. Carland, a C…
Samuel F. ''Salvatore'' Giansante of Clarence, a retired superintendent of the Elba Central School District in Genesee County, died Thursday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Clarence. He was 93.
Born in Waterloo, Mr. Giansante was a graduate of St. Mary's Catholic School in his hometown.
A World War II veteran, he served in the Army from 1943…
May 28, 1934 – July 3, 2018
Monsignor Mecislaus S. Wendzikowski, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Holland for 16 years, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Hospital. He was 84.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Canisius High School, St. Mary's College in Orchard Lake, Mich., and Christ the King Seminary in Olean.
He was ordained in 1959, and started in th…
June 16, 1962 - Feb. 23, 2018
For as long as Stephen McGonagle can remember, his younger brother, Scott, dreamed of a career in the military.
Kenmore resident Scott McGonagle lived out his dream as an air weapons officer in the U.S. Air Force, with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and across Africa and Europe.
"He was always interested in avi…
July 11, 1937 – May 17, 2018
Peter T. Ruszczyk, an award-winning human rights attorney, died Thursday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. He was 80.
It was through his work at the Legal Aid Society that work that Mr. Ruszczyk met his wife, the former Louise E. Carey. They married in 1970 and opened a law firm, Carey and Ruszczyk, in Buffalo in 19…
Nov. 25, 1920 – May 18, 2018
Prominent Buffalo attorney Richard Lipsitz Sr. was more than a legal heavyweight in the labor field. He also was an early supporter of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War.
Through his support, his son says, Mr. Lipsitz helped spawn an entire generation of activists who were fighting f…
Nov. 2, 1929 – March 22, 2018
Jack Ables, a longtime Orchard Park High School principal, died Thursday in the Rosa Coplon Jewish Home and Infirmary on the Weinberg Campus in Amherst. He was 88.
Mr. Ables was born in the Bronx. He went into the U.S. Air Force, beginning as an aviation cadet and commissioned as an officer in 1952, serving until his retirement from the …