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Obituaries for the week of July 7, 2011

Joan Herr

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday (July 1) from St. Mary of the Lake Church for Joan D. (Savannah) Herr, 81, of Hamburg, who died on Tuesday, June 28, 2011.

She is survived by her children, Susan McDonnell, Sandra (Brian) Bleistein and John (Elizabeth), Michael (Mary) and William Herr; 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews, Bill, Kate, Beth and Jo.

She was predeceased by her husband, Edwin R. Herr Jr.; parents, Perry and Carmel (Ketrick) Savannah; and sister, Marie (late Edward) Malia.

Mrs. Herr was a member of the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary.

Memorials may be made to the Hospice Foundation of WNY.

Arrangements were made through the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home.

Kenneth Taylor

Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 8 at 8 p.m. from the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home in Blasdell for Kenneth R. Taylor, 65, of Blasdell, who died on Sunday, July 3, 2011.

He is survived by his wife, Dinah (Plarr) Taylor; children, Tracie Ochoa and Bonnie (Daniel) White; father, Donald Taylor; grandchildren, Andrew, Taylor, Jake, Ben and Caroline; sister, Julie (Chuck) White; and additional family members and friends.

He was predeceased by his mother, Judy (Lewis) Taylor.

Mr. Taylor worked for the quality control at department at the Bethlehem Steel Plant.

Memorials may be made to Roswell Park.

Ferdinand Garcia

Funeral services were held on Wednesday (July 6) from the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home for Ferdinand Garcia, 91, of Hamburg, who died on Friday, July 1, 2011.

He is survived by his wife, Mary (Siepierski) Garcia; children, Joy (Calvin) Culver, Gary (Kathy), Lynn (Daniel) Barufaldi, Ellen (late James) Schwegler and Lisa (Nitin) Karkhanis; 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his sister, Alice Kennedy.

Louise Marie Keenan

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday (July 2) from St. Mary of the Lake Church for Louise Marie (Badcock) Keenan, 86, of Hamburg, formerly of St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada, who died on Thursday, June 30, 2011.

She is survived by her son, John James Keenan; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

She was predeceased by her husband, John Keenan.

She was interred in White Haven Memorial Cemetery in Pittsford, NY.

Arrangements were made through the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home.

Susan Gervase

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 9 at 9:30 a.m. from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo for Susan Jo (Harrington) Gervase, 59, of Hamburg, who died on Saturday, July 2, 2011.

She is survived by her adoring husband of 33 years, Joseph F. Gervase; children, Joseph F. II and Patrick Joseph “PJ” Gervase and Sara (John) Hill; mother, Sally J. (Falk) Harrington; siblings, R. David and Polly Harrington; and many in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her father, Richard D. Harrington.

Mrs. Gervase was salutatorian of the Hamburg High School Class of 1969 and a graduate of Cornell University. She earned her master of science degree from the University at Buffalo in 1979.

She was well known in the medical community as director of social work and discharge planning for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Cheektowaga, until she retired in 1995 to pursue her passion for music.

An accomplished musician, she served as organist and music director for many churches in Western New York for over 40 years, most recently for Wayside Presbyterian Church and St. Matthew’s United Church of Christ in Hamburg, two congregations which she truly loved.

She was one of the primary piano accompanists for the State University of New York College at Fredonia music department.

She operated a thriving piano studio, teaching both adults and children.

Her family and her music were the essence of her life.

Family will be present to receive friends Thursday, July 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. and Friday, July 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home in Hamburg.

Interment will be in Hillcrest Cemetery.

Rose Barnack

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Wednesday (July 6) from Our Mother of Good Counsel Church for Rose I. (Steuernagel) Barnack, 88, of Blasdell, who died on Friday, July 1, 2011.

She is survived by her children, Catherine (Paul) Pelka, Sandra (Ted) Walker, Joyce Marie (Bill) Payne, Elizabeth (Tom) Briggs and Michael J. (Donna), Mark A. (Cindi), Matthew D. and Martin D. (Carol) Barnack; 19 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Frank J. Barnack; and siblings, Ruth Rowan, Rita Elliott, Florence Patterson, Marge DiFloria and Hank Steuernagel.

She was interred in Hillcrest Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to HEART Inc., Animal Rescue and Adoption Team, 184 Buffalo St., Hamburg, NY 14075.

Ronald Swartz

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday (July 1) from Immaculate Conception Church for Ronald J. Swartz, 69, of Eden, who died on Tuesday, June 28, 2011.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 45 years, Linda (Swanson) Swartz; children, Laurie (Tim) Brockman and Jennifer Swartz; sister, Sharon (James) Natwora; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Leona (Wiedman) Swartz.

Mr. Swartz proudly served in the U.S. National Guard.

He was a member of the Holy Name Society at Immaculate Conception Church, where he also served as an usher.

He played the electric base guitar from the age of 18 until he was 50 years old. He played in several bands with Hank Brooks, Boots Hanner and Ron Carlson.

Memorials may be made to Hospice Foundation of WNY, PO Box 590, Buffalo, NY 14240.

Arrangements were made through the Laing Funeral Home.

James Sullivan

Services will be held at a later date for James H. Sullivan, 92, of Hamburg and Palm City, Fla., who died on Friday, June 24, 2011.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Geraldine (Beltz) Sullivan; children, Meg Griffin and Kevin and John Sullivan; and seven grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his son, J. Ryan Sullivan.

Mr. Sullivan was a 1936 graduate of Hamburg High School, where he was both an honors student and a “field general,” playing quarterback for the school’s football team.

He graduated in 1940 from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in commerce and played football and hockey.

He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was stationed in Northern France, Rhineland-Ardennes and Central Europe. He returned in 1946, having received the rank of captain.

He was employed as a banker for the retail division of Marine Midland Trust Company of Western New York for 35 years. He retired in 1985.

Mr. Sullivan combined devotion to his work, his church, and his community in a most admirable manner. He made significant contributions as a village trustee, treasurer of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, director and treasurer of the Hamburg Junior Baseball League and treasurer of the American Legion Post No. 527.

He was an avid golfer who served on the Wanakah Country Club Board of Directors. He was twice champion of the All Wanakah Member-Member Golf Tournament, most recently winning in 2010 at the age of 92.

His death removes from the community one of its elder statesmen.

Fr. Aurelian Brzezniak

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday (July 2) from St. Francis High School Chapel for Friar Aurelian W. Brzezniak, 93, of Buffalo, who died on Monday, June 27, 2011.

He is survived by his sister, Emily Hubert; and niece, Grace Hubert.

He was predeceased by his parents, Walter and Victoria (Kopydlowska) Brzezniak; and siblings, Viola, Walter, Stanley, Casimir, Joseph and Ted.

Fr. Brzezniak received degrees from St. Hyacinth Seminary in Granby, Mass. and from Canisius College in Buffalo.

In 1945, he became the assistant pastor at St. Stanislaus Parish in Chicopee, Mass.

In 1947, he took a teaching job at Bishop Ryan High School in Buffalo, where he became the assistant principal in 1951.

He became the director of novices for St. Joseph Cupertino Novitiate in Ellicott City, Md. in 1957.

He taught at Father Baker High School in Lackawanna from 1963 to 1968. He then returned to teaching at Bishop Ryan from 1968 to 1971, when he left to take a teaching position at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs.

During his years of teaching high school students, he will be most remembered for teaching Latin.

He will live on for years in the lives of all those who were touched by his goodness, wisdom and love.
He was interred in St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Cheektowaga.

Memorials may be made to the Franciscan Friars’ Retirement Fund, PO Box 629, Rensselaer, NY 12144.

Arrangements were made through the Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home.
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