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Obituaries from the Journal week of March 30

Erich Friedrich

Erich Friedrich
Erich H. Friedrich, 50, died March 23, in Buffalo General Hospital.

He was born Oct. 2, 1962 to Henry and Ursula (Sterr) Friedrich, who survive him.

He was a corrections officer for 23 years at Collins Correctional Facility. He was an outdoorsman and followed the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

He married Renee Linden on July 12, 2003 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, located in Springville. He was the father of Erin (Christian) Williams of Springville, Tyler (Alicia) Joslin of Springville and Alex Friedrich of Springville; grandfather of Emery Williams; brother of Heidi Sworts of Cheektowaga and friend of Joe Schmid.

A funeral service was held on March 28, from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Burial was in Maplewood Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Erie County SPCA or Unyts Family Services, 110 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203. Arrangements were made by the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, 271 East Main St. in Springville.

Online condolences may be made at

Margaretha Lawrence

Dougal Kear
Dougal L. Kear Sr., 83, of Machias, died March 1 in Gowanda.

Kear was born on Sept. 23, 1929 in Whitesville, N.Y. to the late Ernest and Martha (nee Crittenden) Kear, the youngest of nine children. He graduated from Whitesville High School in 1947, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served on aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean, between Honolulu and San Diego, until his return to Whitesville. After the Navy, Kear drove a school bus and was a bus mechanic at Whitesville Central School.

In 1957, he was accepted to and later graduated from the New York State Police Academy and became a state trooper with the New York State Police. During his 27-year career with the state police, he was stationed at Clarence, Franklinville and Delevan, where he served as station commander, for the new satellite station.

He received many acknowledgements for work, while serving the people of the state of New York, including delivering a baby, helping to end a hostage situation, ending an armed robbery of a restaurant and guarding Robert Redford and Joe Don Baker, during the filming of The Natural in South Dayton. He also undertook special duty at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, where he guarded and escorted several pop and country stars.

Following retirement in 1985, Kear was owner and operator of Dougal L. Kear Used Cars in Machias. He repaired and restored old cars. He also spent the last 20 years of his life traveling between homes in Machias and at outdoor resorts in Clermont, Fla. He traveled, with his family, to historic and government sites and attended classic car shows. He played nightly card games. He also drove in the Whitesville Memorial Day parade. The final year, he drove a restored 1984 Dodge New York state police car, which was the year he retired and the final year of the old, “blue and gold” car design. Kear was also a member of the American Legion.

Kear was the husband of almost 50 years of Shirley (nee Hamblin) Kear and the late Neva (nee Heckman) Kear; father of Allison Kear and Dougal Jr. (Angela) Kear, both of Columbia, S.C. and the late Sherry, Tommy and Jeffrey; grandfather of Adriana of Columbia, S.C.; brother of Norma Rounds and Roberta (Donald) Kramer of Whitesville and Dortha Krebs of Williamsville and the late Cleon, Kenneth, Clair, Donald (Link) andDonna Kailbourne; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 25, at the Whitesville Rural Cemetery in Whitesville, NY. Expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to the New York State Trooper Foundation, 3 Airport Park Blvd., Latham, N.Y. 12110-1441 or Agapé Senior Foundation, 1053 Center St., West Columbia, S.C. 29169. Arrangements were made by the Babbitt & Easton Funeral Home in Franklinville.

Austin Smith

Margaretha Lawrence
Margaretha J. Lawrence (nee Jansen), 90, of Springville, died March 24, at Fox Run in Orchard Park.

She was born in Volga, S.D. on July 27, 1922 to the late Lodewyk and Hendrika (nee vanderPers) Jansen. She married the late Edmond Lawrence on Nov. 30, 1946 in Jacksonville, N.Y.

Margaretha Lawrence was the treasurer and tax collector for Springville-Griffith Institute, had belonged to the Monday Club, Springville Country Club, had been a member of the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Board of Directors, a member of the First United Methodist Church and the New Library Committee. She was a quilter and a golfer and had lived in Springville since 1951.

She is was the mother of Cathy (John) Slocum of Penfield, N.Y., Myra Lawrence of Tonawanda, N.Y. and Robert Lawrence of Adrian, Mich.; grandmother of Jeffrey (Kearstan) Slocum, Stephen Slocum, Deborah (Michael) Rojas and Mark Lawrence; great-grandmother of Trey Rojas.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 30, at 1 p.m. from First United Methodist Church of Springville. The Rev. Abel Roy will officiate. Burial will be in Maplewood Cemetery, Springville.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 474 East Main St., Springville, NY 14141. Arrangements were made by the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, Inc., 271 East Main St., Springville.

Online condolences may be made at

Austin Smith
Austin James Smith, age 1, suddenly, in Springville. Born on March 23, 2011 to Ashlee Smith and Travis Beaver in Women & Children’s Hospital, Buffalo. Besides his parents, he is survived by his grandparents; Michael and Sarah Smith and Tracy Little Smith; also survived by numerous great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial service was held on Monday, March 25 at Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, 271 East Main St., Springville.

Austin Smith watched the Cars II Movie, played in the water, had tickle fights and ate french fries.

Memorial contributions may be made in Austin James Smith’s name to M&T Bank, 22 Mechanic St., Springville, N.Y. 14141. Online condolences may be made at


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