BUFFALO, N.Y. Francis Frank Szematowicz, 86, passed away at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, surrounded by his family after a brief illness.
Frank was born in Mahanoy City, Pa., on Feb. 4, 1928, the son of the late John and Anna (Karakas) Szematowicz.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948 (occupation Japan). Frank obtained his B.S. in Bacteriology from Penn State University and his M.S. in Bacteriology from St. Bonaventure University.
Frank was predeceased by his wife of 40 years, Mary (Pongonis), who passed away in 1992.
He was the loving father of Gregory Greg (Kathryn (OSullivan)) Szematowicz, Lou Ann Szematowicz, OSHJ of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and Sarah (Bruce) Vogel; the adored grandfather of Melissa (David) Walsh, Matthew Szematowicz and Kristin (Edward Narbe) Szematowicz; and the fond great-grandfather of Brian Walsh, Shae Walsh, Adam Walsh, Kira Kelly, Chloe Kelly, Gage and Daemyon Narbe.
Frank and his family lived in East Aurora, N.Y., and Hamburg, N.Y., from 1960 to 1973, working as a Microbiologist for Agway in Buffalo. He then moved to Ithaca, N.Y., in 1973, as he continued with Agway at the Agway Technical Center until his retirement in 1993.
Frank and his late wife, Mary, were both active members of Immaculate Conception Church in East Aurora, where Frank was an active member of the Holy Name Society. They were also active members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Ithaca, N.Y., serving as Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors. Frank was also a 4th Order of the Knights of Columbus in Ithaca, N.Y.
His hobbies included radio astronomy and, after the passing of his beloved wife, Mary, traveling extensively in the United States visiting relatives, as well as trips to Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and an expedition to the Ross Sea in Antarctica. Frank Always had many amusing stories from his travels and endeavors. These stories included being invited to join a traveling bus tour, with a Polish Polka band as they toured Europe, (after they learned he played the clarinet in a swing band during his younger years and was fluent in the Polish language). He was also involved in a research project in Central New York, testing the fertility of Ice Age Mastodon droppings with local high schools and modern seeds.
Family and friends are cordially invited to a Memorial Mass in honor of Frank on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, 520 Oak St., East Aurora, N.Y.
Flowers are gratefully declined.
The family suggests that memorial Masses be sent to Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart, 50 Warner Road, Hubbard, OH 44425, in Franks memory.
Local arrangements are being handled by the Schiavone Funeral Home.
Please visit www.schiavonefh.com to share condolences.