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Obituaries for Hamburg, Boston, Eden, Evans, Brant and Farnham for the Week of Jan. 17, 2013

William J. Hammer Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from St. Francis of Assisi Church on Wednesday (Dec. 19) for William J. Hammer Jr., 83, of Rittman, Ohio, formerly of Hamburg, who died on Friday, December 14, 2012.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dolores K. (Eberle) Hammmer; children, Linda (Paul) Demler, Mary Ann (Joseph) Horrigan, Rebecca (late Wayne) Moyer, Edward (Judith) Hammer and Laura (Bruce) Brainard; siblings, Esther (late Richard) Saxton, Joyce (late Howard) Schneider and Robert (Audrey) Hammer; grandchildren, Julie, Mariel, Daniel, Shaun, Lacey, Lindsay, William, Jacqulene, Edward, Joseph, Adam, Maxwell and Miranda; great-grandson, William J. Hammer IV and close family friend, Birdie (Andalora) Pingrey.

Mr. Hammer was born in Buffalo and attended East High School and Boys Vocational. He married Dolores Eberle in 1950 and was employed as an A-millwright at Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna until retiring in 1985.

In his early years, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, later taking the family on picnics, for swims at Hamburg Beach, vacations at the family farm, and trips to their favorite destination, Crystal Beach Amusement Park. He loved animals and the many family dogs, from Chihuahuas to St. Bernards, and growing flowers and fruit trees in the yard, and cooling off in the family pool.

The Fourth of July and Christmas were favorite holidays, and family and friends were sure to find Santa celebrating at his home. He enjoyed decorating for Christmas, with large outdoor light displays that all of the neighbors enjoyed. He loved to shop for Christmas gifts for his family and always had a camera ready to capture the moment when the children opened their gifts. The annual Easter egg hunt was held rain or shine, with chocolate bunny prizes bigger than the grandchildren.

Mr. Hammer also prided himself on being a great cook, and always made the holiday turkey and stuffing. He loved to shop and collect, frequenting flea markets, auctions and garage sales, and relished the challenge of negotiating the final price.

More than anything, he loved his family, and told them that frequently. He was proud of every child, and grandchild.

Mr. and Mrs. Hammer were parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Athol Springs, until 2008 when they moved to Rittman, Ohio to be nearer to two of their daughters and families, and where they could enjoy seeing their young grandchildren almost daily.

Arrangements were made by Lakeside Funeral Home.

Gerhard E. Kurpiela

A private service was held in Florida for Gerhard E. Kurpiela, 83, of Lawtons, who died on Sunday, January 6, 2013.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Helga “Annie” Kurpiela; sons, Richard (Gail) and Robert (Dot) Kurpiela; sister, Marlies Reuer; granddaughters, Heidi, Holly, Pam, Vanessa and Lou Ann Kurpiela and great-grandchildren, Madelyn and Henry.

Mr. Kurpiela was predeceased by his brothers, Erwin and Helmut Kurpiela.

He grew up in Hildesheim, Germany and in 1956 moved to Buffalo to work as a tool and die maker at the Ford Motor Company, where he worked for 30 years. He was a life member of the Dunkirk Yacht Club and a charter member of Club Lorelei, where he and his wife loved to dance to “Oom-pah-pah” music and spend time with good friends.

A skilled craftsman, Mr. Kurpiela spent much of his life tinkering in his workshop. In the early 1970s, he built a 30-foot steel sailboat, which he sailed for 20 years on Lake Erie.

He was an avid motorcyclist, fisherman and aviator. For 23 years he buzzed over Western New York in his two-seater Cessna.

He loved his wife’s cooking, dark German beer, beating his grandchildren at Uno and sharing his one-of-a-kind observations on life.

Mr. Kurpiela was an animated storyteller, a devoted father and a loving husband.

Bernice Zoyhofski

Funeral services were held from Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home on Tuesday (Jan. 15) for Bernice (Rzepecki) Zoyhofski, of Woodlawn, who died on Saturday, January 12, 2013.

She is survived by her children, Cynthia (Jeffrey) Zoyhofski and Christine (Vincent) Puglisi; siblings, Mary (David) Ortiz, Thomas (Rita) and Louis (Jo); grandchildren, Andrew (Morgan) and Christopher Dzierzanowski; great-grandchildren, Madison and Tre; sister-in-laws and nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Zoyhofski was predeceased by her husband, Gerald Zoyhofski; parents, Stanley and Blanche Zoyhofski and brother, Stanley Rzepecki.

She was a member of a local sewing club.

Helen E. Jacobs

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from SS. Peter and Paul Church on Friday (Jan. 11) for Helen E. (Bowers) Jacobs, of Hamburg, who died on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

She is survived by her children, Lynn (John) Poppenberg and Donald (Jennifer) Jacobs; grandchildren, Mark (Cheryl), David Poppenberg, Molly (Eric) Burt, Susan (Jason) Joseph and Amy (Jordan) Walter and four great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Jacobs was predeceased by her husband, Joseph G. Jacobs.

She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 527 and SS. Peter and Paul’s Altar and Rosary Society.

Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements were made through Loomis, Offers & Loomis, Hamburg Chapel.

Sally A. Prockton

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from St. Bernadette Church on Saturday (Jan.12) for Sally A. (Zwelling) Prockton, of Hamburg, who died on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

She is survived by her husband of 59 years, George F. Prockton; children, Sandra (John) Jarnot, Bonnie (Robert) Traina, Mike (Joyce) and Gregg Prockton; siblings, Ronald and Thomas (Janice) Zwelling and Patricia (Richard) Fumanti; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Mrs. Prockton was predeceased by her son, Mark Prockton and sister, Nancy Bottoni.

Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangemnts made through the Loomis, Offers & Loomis, Hamburg Chapel.

Bridget Seggio

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from Parish of Our Lady Church on Saturday (Jan. 12) for Bridget (Fasanello) Seggio, 87, of Angola, who died on Monday, January 7, 2013.

She is survived by her children, Angela Maria and Joseph (Karen) Seggio; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Seggio was predeceased by her husband, Marion Seggio; children, Marian and Josephine “Jojo” Seggio and siblings, Jeanette Meck and Frances Fasanello.

Memorials may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, 550 Mickle Blvd., Camden, N.J., 08103. The Benedict House or Salesian Missions.

Arrangements were made through the Wentland Funeral Home.

Robert C. Meyer

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from Epiphany of Our Lord Church on Monday (Jan. 14) for Robert C. Meyer, 62, of Concord, who died on Wednesday, January 9, 2013.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Mary (Emerling) Meyer; children, Anna (Daniel) Crowell, Ronald (Mary), Steven (Brianne) and David (Tracy) Meyer; sister, Linda (Harold) Blesy and grandchildren, Ava, Grace, Elizabeth, Bo, Robert and Tyler.

Mr. Meyer was predeceased by his sister, Carol (late Mauro) Barry.

He was the owner of Meyer Dairy Farm in Concord, and became the fifth generation owner when he bought the farm in 1972 from his father at the age of 21. He has always been active in the agricultural community and served on many committees and boards including Upstate Milk, Niagara Milk and the Farm Bureau.

Mr. Meyer graduated from Eden Central School, was a life member of the Boston Fire Company and loved and cherished his grandchildren. Many people will remember him for the many years he competed amongst his friends at the Langford Tractor Pull.

Memorials may be made to the Boston Fire Co.

Arrangements were made through the Wentland Funeral Home.

James L. Haley

A funeral with military honors and a Mass of Christian Burial was held from St. Francis of Assisi Church on Saturday (Jan. 12) for James L. Haley, 79, of Hamburg, who died on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

He is survived by his wife, Dianna (Buckle) Haley; children, James (Norma) Haley, Beverly (Lawrence) Preischel and Julie (William) Dippie and grandchildren, Danielle, Eric, Haley, James, Emily and Will.

Mr. Haley was a Korean War army veteran, a guidance counselor for Buffalo Public Schools and a member of the Hamburg Lions Club, Erie County Agricultural Society and American Legion Post No. 527.

Final resting place was in Hillcrest Cemetery.

Arrangements were made through the Demmerley Funeral Home.

Connie Lin Gabel

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from Epiphany of Our Lord Church on Saturday (Jan. 12) for Connie Lin Gabel, 40, of Boston, formerly of North Collins, who died on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

She is survived by her mother, Mary Ann (Stuhlmiller) Gabel; sisters, Amy (Chris) Porter, Michelle (Peter) Koszelak and Danielle (Chris) Gabel; nieces and nephews, Justin, Peyton, Annabelle, Lillian and Gabriella; special friend, Tom Preischel (Samantha and Amanda) and companion, Tango.

Ms. Gabel was predeceased by her father, Ronald J. Gabel.

She was an avid outdoorswoman, friend and a great aunt.

Arrangements were made through the Wentland Funeral Home.


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