Barbara F. Hill (nee Flagg) Print
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Visitation:  THURSDAY, September 9, 2021:  4-8 PM at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

Service:  A private cemetery service will be held for Barbara and her husband John.

HILL - Barbara F. (nee Flagg)
Of Snyder, NY, appreciated every
day of her 73 years of life before she
passed away on September 5, 2021,
and is now reunited with her beloved
husband John. She was born on
January 31, 1948 in Niagara Falls, NY,
to the late Webster and Jeanne (nee
Daggett) Flagg. She graduated from
Lewiston-Porter High School, attended
SUNY Brockport for physical education
and received a radiologic technologist
certificate from Millard Fillmore School
of Radiologic Technology. Barbara had
a fulfilling health care career through
Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital and a
number of private practice physicians’
offices. A life-long golfer and member
of Audubon Golf Course, she loved
playing with the women’s league and
appreciated the deep and lasting
friendships formed at the golf course
over the years. Her love of games
continued to the card table, and many
years of competitive and friendly bridge
games and Tuesday dominoes fun also
resulted in close friendships that filled
her life with love. Barbara was an avid
gardener at her home and appreciated
her kind and caring neighbors in the
circle. Barbara loved to travel with
inspiring trips spanning the continent
from Hawaii to Maine, and the Canadian
Rockies to the Panama Canal. Barbara
is survived by her son David (Alisia)
and grandchildren Jessica, Andrew,
and Elliot, daughter Laura Hill Rao
(Steven) and grandchildren Noah,
Griffin, Maya, and Sydney, brothers
Clinton (Marti) and James (Diana),
brother-in-law David (Karen) and many
loving cousins, nephews, nieces, and
a cherished aunt and uncle in Maine.
Calling hours are Thursday, September
9 from 4:00-8:00PM at DEITRICH
FUNERAL HOME, 2480 Kensington
Ave., Amherst, NY. A private cemetery
service will be held for Barbara and
her husband John. In lieu of flowers,
the family welcomes memorial gifts
in Barb’s memory to the Hospice
Foundation. Online condolences at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

 

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Antoinette Brazer (nee Bentkowski) Print
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Visitation:  No prior visitation.

Service:  SATURDAY, September 4, 2021:  A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 AM at St. Benedict Church, Eggertsville.

BRAZER - Antoinette
(nee Bentkowski)
March 23, 2020. Beloved wife of the
late Eugene Brazer; loving daughter
of the late Anthony and Helen (nee
Bajda) Bentkowski; devoted mother of
Lori Berger of NJ and Lynn (Dr. Mark)
Weissman of Grand Island; dearest
grandmother of Ashlin Berger of NJ,
Andrew D’Amico, Brianna and Brandon
Weissman of Grand Island; sister of
Sharon Bentkowski of GA; aunt of Sara
Scott of Alameda, CA and Adam Walker
of GA; also survived by uncles, John
Bentkowski of Ithaca, NY and John
Bycina of Buffalo. A Memorial Mass will
be celebrated on Saturday, September
4th, at 11 AM, at St. Benedict Church,
1317 Eggert Rd., Eggertsville. Please
assemble at church. Arrangements by
THE DIETRICH FUNERAL HOMES, INC.  
Please share condolentces at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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Jean M. Burke (nee Mitchell) Print
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Visitation:  No prior visitation.

Service:  FRIDAY, September 3, 2021:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 AM at St. Amelia Church, Tonawanda.

BURKE - Jean M. (nee Mitchell)
September 1, 2021. Beloved wife
of the late Gerald Burke; loving
mother of Timothy (Mary Jo), Colleen
(Dennis) Zielkiewicz, Catherine (Gary)
Brownell, James, Karen (Larry) West,
Kevin and Keith (Lisa) Burke; loving
grandmother of 11 grandchildren and
great-grandmother of 11; sister of
Kathleen (late Daniel Serwinowski),
late Joseph (Alice) Mitchell, Maureen
(Al) Markiewicz and Ellen (Jim) Smith;
also survived by nieces and nephews.
No prior visitation. A Mass of Christian
Burial will be held at St. Amelia’s RC
Church, 2999 Eggert Rd., on Friday,
at 9 AM. Flowers gratefully declined.
Memorials may be made to Hospice
Buffalo or the Hilary Grace Foundation,
PO Box 553, East Amherst, NY,
14051. Arrangements were made by
DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME, INC.
Please share online condolences at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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Norman J. Bealer Print
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Visitation:  No prior visitation.

Service:  Funeral Services were held privately.

**Online condolences will be accessible on Tuesday, Sept.7th

BEALER - Norman J.
August 30, 2021.
Beloved husband of the
late Mary Jane M. (nee
Dossinger) Bealer;
loving father of the late
Norman F. Bealer;
father-in-law of Lynn
Bealer; dearest grandfather of Norman
(Lori) Bealer and Jillian M. Bealer; great-grandfather
 of Riley and Benjamin Bealer; predeceased by
 brothers and sisters. No prior visitation. Funeral
Services were held privately at the
convenience of the family. Norman was
a past commander of the George F.
Lamm Post #622. Arrangements by the
DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME, INC.
Online condolences may be shared at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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Michael C. Vacanti Print
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Visitation:  MONDAY, August 30, 2021:  4-8 PM at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst, NY  14226.

Service:  TUESDAY, August 31, 2021:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 AM at St. Benedict Church, Eggertsville, NY.

 

VACANTI - Michael C.
August 25, 2021. Beloved son of
Charles S. and Mary P. (nee Parisi)
Vacanti; loving brother of David J.
Vacanti; loving friend of Lindsey
Mannes; dearest friend of Jay Saraf;
also survived by many loving aunts,
uncles, and cousins. Michael was a
graduate of S.J.C.I. in 1990, Buff State
(BS) in 1995, and Canisius College (MS)
in 1997. Mike taught Senior Economics
for 20 years at McKinley HS, where he
also coached baseball and served as
a BTF Union Rep. Family and friends
may call Monday, from 4-8 PM, at the
DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME, INC.,
2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst, NY.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be
celebrated on Tuesday, at 9 AM, at
St. Benedict Church, 1317 Eggert Rd.,
Eggertsville, NY. Please assemble at
church. Flowers gratefully declined.
Memorials may be made to Crisis
Services, 100 River Rock Dr., Suite
300, Buffalo, NY 14207. Please share
memories and condolences online at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com.

Sept. 17, 1972 – Aug. 25, 2021

When Michael C. Vacanti was assigned to teach an economics class at McKinley High School, he took a look at the curriculum and decided some changes had to be made.

“It was just balancing a checkbook,” his father, Charles, said. “He said, ‘We’re going to start from square one and get these kids on a sound financial footing. And we’re not going to stop there.’ ”

Mr. Vacanti’s field was history, not economics, but he quickly acquired some expertise. He drew some of it from assisting his father in his real estate brokerage and appraisal business.

“He taught them the pitfalls of credit cards,” his father said. “He taught them about retirement. He told them they could be millionaires by the time they retired. A lot of them set up IRA accounts.”

He became known as the “finance guru” to his students and started his own consulting firm, Buffalo Financial Advisers, on the side. After they graduated, many of his students sought his advice about financial problems, which he provided without charge.

Mr. Vacanti died unexpectedly Aug. 25. He was 48.

Born in Buffalo, the son of teachers and the older of two boys, he attended St. Benedict’s School and graduated in 1990 from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, where he was a pitcher on the baseball team and played forward for the hockey team.

He worked a variety of part-time jobs, as many as three at a time, while he was attending Buffalo State College. He switched majors from computer science to history, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1995. He studied physical education while completing his master’s degree in education at Canisius College.

Beginning as a substitute teacher in Buffalo schools, Mr. Vacanti made such an impression with seniors at Grover Cleveland High School that they voted him “most outstanding senior teacher.”

He then got a full-time position at McKinley, where he taught history, economics, sociology, psychology and health for almost 20 years. The home page for his economics class declared: “Students will learn how to save money, avoid scams and become wealthy.”

He also arranged to set up free checking or savings accounts for students who didn’t have them and noted on his home page, “You are seniors about to graduate – I will treat you like adults ...”

“What he wanted to do was make sure they were set for life,” his father said. “He was telling them how to survive in a very tough world.”

Mr. Vacanti supported activities for his own classes and for special needs students with money he received from selling snacks in his classroom. He used those proceeds to send them to “The Lion King” at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, paid for taekwondo lessons for many of them and covered expenses for field trips, often adding some of his own funds.

He was assistant coach of the McKinley boys’ baseball team from 2001 to 2010, designing their jerseys and helping them to Cornell Cup championships in 2006 and 2007.

For many years, he also was a representative for the Buffalo Teachers Federation. He ran for BTF treasurer on a ticket that challenged union president Phil Rumore in 2015. He also served as a mentor to first-year teachers and often taught in after-school programs.

Mr. Vacanti continued to play hockey with a team called the Black Sheep and had a broad circle of friends from his schools and workplaces. He hosted them every August at the end of summer vacation at an enormous party, the Vacanti-Palooza, at his home.

Plans are under way to establish a scholarship in his name at McKinley High School.

Survivors include his parents, Charles and Mary; his brother, David; and close friends Lindsey Mannes and Jason M. Saraf.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Aug. 31 in St. Benedict Catholic.

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Thomas M. Beilman Print
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Visitation:  WEDNESDAY, August 25, 2021: 4-8 PM at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

Service:  THURSDAY, August 26, 2021:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 am at St. Benedict Church, Eggertsville.

BEILMAN - Thomas M.
August 20, 2021. Beloved husband
of Diane (Schimpf) Beilman; loving
father of Amy (Louie) Fox and Paul
Beilman; devoted grandfather of
loving grandchildren; also survived
by one brother, sisters, and nieces
and nephews. Family and friends may
call Wednesday, from 4-8PM, at the
DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME, INC.,
2480 Kensington Avenue, Amherst. A
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on
Thursday at 9 AM, at St. Benedict Church,
1317 Eggert Rd., Eggertsville, NY.
Please assemble at church. Please
share memories and condolences online
at www.TheDietrichFuneralHome

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Beverly Heath (nee Meyer) Print
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Visitation:    No prior visitation.

Service:  SATURDAY, August 21, 2021:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 AM at St. Mary's Church Chapel, Swomville.

HEATH - Beverly (nee Meyer)
July 28, 2021. Beloved wife of the
late Donald A. Heath, Jr.; loving
mother of Cynthia (Michael) McNally
and Deborah (James) Wyrobek;
devoted grandmother of Katherine
(Jonathan) Gorczyca, Meghan
(Robert, Jr.) Badding, Christopher
(Julie) Wyrobek, Stephanie (Nicholas)
Shemik, Kaitlyn (Bryan) McArthur and
Shannon McNally; great-grandmother
of seven great-grandchildren; sister
of Shirley (late Daniel) Rich. No prior
visitation. A Mass of Christian Burial
will be celebrated on Saturday, August
21st, at 10 AM at St. Mary’s Church
Chapel, 6919 Transit Rd., Swormville,
NY. Entombment will be at Arlington
National Cemetery. Flowers gratefully
declined. Memorials may be made to
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer
Center. Beverly, an avid reader and
world traveler, enjoyed playing Bridge.
A recipient of the Jesse Ketchum
Medal for high academic achievement,
she was nominated by her colleagues
for Outstanding Young Educator. A
teacher in the Cleveland Hill School
District for 34 years, Beverly was also a
member of the Clarence Women’s Club
and President of the Buffalo Gyrettes,
auxiliary to the Gyro Club. Arrangements
by THE DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME,
INC. Please share condolences online
at www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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