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Death notices and obituaries from the May 1 edition of The Sun

Brigitte Auricchio

Brigitte (nee Richter, nee Kumiega) Auricchio of Amherst, formerly of Hamburg, died April 19.

She was the former owner of Brigitte’s Boutiques and Reflections of You and Eclipse hair salons.

She was the wife of Louis Auricchio Sr.; former wife of Michael Kumiega; mother of Pamela Matthews and Michelle (Keith) Chick; stepmother of Louis Auricchio Jr. and Peter (Dina) Auricchio; grandmother of nine; great-grandmother of three; sister of Georg (Marge) Richter and the late Josef (Christina) Richter and Valerie (John) Kulikowsky; also survived by other family members and friends.

Ann Button
Ann (nee Yager) Button, 81, of Hamburg died April 24.

She was a homemaker.

She was the wife of the late Edward Button; mother of Edward (Mary), Allan (Cheryl) and Mary Ann (Paul) Reimondo; grandmother of 10; sister of Patrick Yager, Donald Yager; predeceased by brothers and sisters; friend of the late Ralph McNatty.

Visitation and a funeral service were held from the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home’s Hamburg Chapel. Interment was in Lakeside Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo Inc.

Louis Catalano Jr.
Louis Catalano Jr.

Louis Catalano Jr., 74, of Brant died April 24.

He was a life member of the Brant Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the National Grape Co-Op and a fruit and vegetable grower in the town of Brant.

He was the husband of Sharon (nee Ognibene) Catalano; father of Janice Catalano, Lou Ann (Richard) Rechin, Louis III (Melonie) Catalano and Shari (David) Tretter; grandfather of six; brother of Christine (late Peter) Pace, Patricia (late Samuel) Pittro and the late Frank Catalano and Dolores (Richard) Walthew.

Visitation was held from the Wentland Funeral Home of North Collins. A memorial Mass was held from Saint Anthony’s Church of Farnham.

Christa Eckhardt
Christa Eckhardt

Christa Eckhardt, formerly of Springville, died April 5.

She was born on Jan. 3, 1948 to Lawrence and Erika Eckhardt. She attended Eden Central High School and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

She worked in a National Institutes of Health research lab in Puerto Rico. She then worked on the crew of a Norwegian hydrofoil, running passengers between San Juan, Fajardo and Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.

She earned her commercial captain’s license and took tourists of the El Conquistador hotel resort for day sail and snorkel on a catamaran.

She house-sat a cliff-side property and made friends with residents of the U.S. Coast Guard station and the U.S. Navy Base at Roosevelt Roads. She used the swimming pool to raise baby sea turtles for release. She had a pet skunk named Back Fire and rescued animals from the streets.

She was a photographer and writer. She was a contributor to “Que Pasa,” a Puerto Rico tourism magazine.

She worked as first mate, then captain, marketing and business manager for the catamarans “Barefoot” and “Spread Eagle.”

She was the sister of Carol Knight, Roger Eckhardt and Margaret Pedersen; aunt of Eric Knight, Marla Pedersen Biskner Brazil and Father Gregg Pedersen; great-aunt of Sarah and Emily Biskner; friend of the late Jack Becker and Eduardo Cardona; also survived by two dogs.

Joyce Freeman
Joyce Freeman

Joyce (nee Hoffman) Freeman of Angola died April 23.

She was the mother of Laura (Lester) Sperling, Russell (Cindy) Freeman, Lisa (Kevin) Root, Rick Freeman and the late Linda Dorchak; sister of Gloria (Ken) Bauss and the late Marilyn (George) Smierciak and David Hoffman; also survived by seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Visitation was held from the Addison Funeral Home Inc. of Angola. A Mass of Christian burial was held from Blessed John Paul II Parish of Lake View. Interment was in Hillcrest Cemetery of Hamburg.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made at www.addisonfuneralhome.com.

Edwin Hadrych
Edwin Hadrych

Edwin Hadrych of Hudson, N.H., formerly of Hamburg, died April 15.

He and his siblings worked on the family farm in Hamburg with their parents. After graduating from Hamburg High School in 1948, he joined the United States Air Force, completed training at Sampson Field in Buffalo and served in the Korean War, during which he was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, Manzano Installation in New Mexico.

While in New Mexico, he worked with scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratories. His active duty service spanned from 1950 – 1956.

When he relocated to Nashua, N.H., he worked at Sanders Associates. After his retirement, he fixed cars, watched birds, adopted homeless cats, gardened, remodeled his home and spent time with his family. He was a member of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church of Nashua.

He was the husband of Charlotte (nee Napsey) and the former husband of Rosemary (nee Mosso); father of Evangeline, Timothy and Eric; grandfather of Brandi Jo, Justin, Geoff, Blaise and Issac; great-grandfather of Evan Alexander and the late Abigail Rose; brother of Joseph, Molly (Sister Anne Marya Vincent), Helen (Sister Stephen) and the late Michael John, Aloysious, Stephen Vincent, Benedict and Stella; son of the late Vincent and Anna; also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, his-sister-in law Noreen and her husband Dick and his brother-in-law Douglas.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the Air Commando Association or to a pet charity.

George Hlavsa
George Hlavsa, 85, formerly of Angola, died in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on April 14.

He spent most of his career with the Courier Express, working in the circulation department. He owned and operated the Angola Liquor Store for many years.

He and his wife moved to Myrtle Beach in 2005, where he lived until he died. He bowled at Chicks Lanes for many years.

He was the husband of Rena Rader Hlavsa; father of Debra Ann Kaufman and Michael Hlavsa; grandfather of Michael, Ryan and Justin (Ashley) Kaufman; great-grandfather of Trenton and Ethan Kaufman.

A graveside service will be held in the First Church of Evans Cemetery, located at Route 5 at Sturgeon Point Road in Derby, at a time to be announced, on May 2.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association. Online condolences may be made at www.addisonfuneralhome.com.

Ruby McCrea
Ruby McCrea

Ruby McCrea, 99, of Hamburg died April 24.

She was born in Missouri and worked on the family farm. She studied nursing at the University of Missouri. She served as a first lieutenant Army nurse in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart.

After the war, she worked at Our Lady of Victory Hospital as a registered nurse. She was active in her church and gardened.

She was the wife of the late Paul; mother of seven; sister of two; grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of five.

A funeral service was held from Grace Lutheran Church of Hamburg. Internment with full military honors was held from Hillcrest Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo, 225 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga, NY 14227. Arrangements were made by the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home Inc. Online condolences may be made at www.kaczorfunerals.com.

Karen Robinson
Karen Robinson

Karen (nee Lore) Robinson of Lake View died April 22.

She was the wife of the late Charles Robinson; mother of Greg (Nan) Robinson and Terri Gregg; grandmother of Andy, Andrea, Chris, Natalie, Tara, Greg Jr. and Kensington; sister of Anita (late Kaye) Brindley and Lynda Lore; also survived by nieces and nephews.

Visitation and a funeral service were held from the Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home Inc.

Memorials may be made to the Lupus Alliance of Upstate New York. Online condolences may be made at www.lakesidefuneralhome.com.

Dorothy Sobczak
Dorothy Sobczak

Dorothy (nee Hummel) Sobczak RN of Lake View died April 25.

She was a member of numerous organizations in the Blessed John Paul II Parish.

She was the wife of 58 years of the late Joseph Sobczak; mother of Mark Sobczak and Carol-Lynn (Brian) Cox; grandmother of Nathan Cox; sister of the late Aloysius (Mildred) Hummel and Dolores Cannon; sister-in-law of Lawrence Romanski and the late Genevieve (Lawrence) Muscoreil; also survived by nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held from the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home’s Hamburg Chapel. A Mass of Christian burial was held from Blessed John Paul II Church of Lake View. Interment followed, in Saints Peter & Paul Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at www.kaczorfunerals.com.

Lorrie Steerey
Lorrie (nee Machina) Steerey of Billings, Mont., formerly of Hamburg, died April 22.

She earned a Ph.D. from Montana State University and recently retired from Montana State University – Billings.

She was the wife of William Steerey; mother of Matthew Steerey; daughter of the late Helen and John Machina; sister of Mary Ann Hoag, John Machina and Larry (Patricia) Machina.

A memorial service will be held at a future date.

Richard Szal Sr.

Richard Szal Sr. died April 21.

He served in the United States Army’s 32nd Infantry, Red Arrow Division, in World War II. He attained the rank of sergeant, earning the Bronze Star, Victory Medal/World War II, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with three bronze stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two bronze stars, the American Theater Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.

He and his wife raised five children in Eden and were business partners until her death.

He owned Szal’s IGA with his father, built and owned the Bell’s IGA in 1962, opened the Pub Restaurant and Tavern in 1962 and opened the Eden Mini Mart in 1975.

He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, a 70-year member of American Legion Post 880, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8625 and the Eden 39ers Social Club, was an Eden volunteer firefighter and was a past commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 177 of Angola.

He was the husband of the late Florence Kotwicki; father of Richard Jr., Dennis (Judy), Kenneth (Molly), Jeffrey (Kathleen), and Melissa (Donald) Weidner; grandfather of nine; also survived by many nieces and nephews and Elaine Vidal.

Visitation was held from the Laing Funeral Home Inc. of Eden. A Mass of Christian burial was held from Immaculate Conception Church of Eden.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Disabled American Veterans Chapter 177, c/o Keith Young, 9540 S. Main St., Angola, NY 14006. Online condolences may be made at www.LaingFuneralHome.com.

Angeline Zakrzewski
Angeline (nee Kaczmarek) Zakrzewski of Blasdell, formerly of Buffalo, died April 26.

She was the wife of Edward Zakrzewski; mother of Allen, Michael (Susan), Tom, Donna (Jack) Damstetter and Ken Zakrzewski; grandmother of Paul (Victoria Nice), Eric, Christopher, Kaela and Aaron Zakrzewski and Nicholas Damstetter; great-grandmother of Morgan, Lilliana and Bryson; sister of Gloria Post and Robert Kaczmarek; predeceased by five brothers and three sisters; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held from the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home’s Blasdell/Lackawanna Chapel. A Mass of Christian burial was held from Our Mother of Good Counsel Church of Blasdell. Entombment was in Saint Adalbert’s Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at www.kaczorfunerals.com.



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