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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Geraldine Pestka (nee Daigler) Print
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Visitation:  No prior visitation.

Service:  TUESDAY, August 17, 2021:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 AM at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church, Cheektowaga.

PESTKA - Geraldine
(nee Daigler)
November 2, 2019. Beloved wife
of the late Robert J. Pestka; loving
mother of Marcy (John) Wagner and
the late Judi (Dennis) DiPirro; loving
grandmother of eight grandchildren
and great-grandmother of twelve
great-grandchildren; sister of the late
William (Nancy) Daigler. No prior
visitation, a Mass of Christian Burial
will be celebrated Tuesday, August
17th, at 11:30 AM, at St. Aloysius
Gonzaga Church, 157 Cleveland Dr.,
Cheektowaga. Please assemble at
church. Flowers gratefully declined.
Geraldine was retired from Sears,
Roebuck and Co. Arrangements by the
DIETRICH FUNERAL HOMES, INC.
Online condolences may be shared at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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Patricia T. "Teri" Mugler (nee Georger) Print
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Visitation:  THURSDAY, August 12, 2021: 6-8 PM at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

Service:  FRIDAY, August 13, 2021:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 AM at Christ the King Church, Snyder.

MUGLER - Patricia “Teri”
(nee Georger)
July 31, 2021. Loving and cherished
companion of Russell Swain; beloved
mother of Kelly (Michael) Culver,
Robert (Christina) Mugler and
Danielle Powell; loving grandmother
of eight grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren;
dearest sister of Mary Monin and Michael (Lena) Georger;
loving aunt of Christopher Monin. Family
and friends may call Thursday from
6-8 PM at the DIETRICH FUNERAL
HOME, INC., 2480 Kensington Ave.,
Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial
will be celebrated Friday at 9:30 AM
at Christ the King Church, 30 Lamarck
Dr., Snyder. Please assemble at
church. Flowers gratefully declined.
Memorials may be made to the Lupus
Alliance of Upstate NY. Teri had a very
strong faith in God, and was passionate
about spreading it to others. She
filled countless notebooks writing out
scriptures. She was loved by all and
made friends everywhere. Teri’s love
for animals was inspired by her beloved
Westie, Kenzie who was her faithful
companion for many years. In better
health, Teri was an avid walker and
very much enjoyed square dancing.
Condolences may be shared online at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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Bryan M. Chaput Print
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Visitation: TUESDAY, August 10, 2021:  5-7 PM at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

Service:  TUESDAY, August 10, 2021:  A Funeral Service will be held at 7 pm at the conclusion of the visitation.

CHAPUT - Bryan M.
July 16, 2021. Beloved son of Elizabeth
Chaput; loving grandson of the late
Edward M. and Ellen M. Chaput; also
survived by loving family and friends.
Family and friends may call Tuesday
from 5-7 PM at the DIETRICH FUNERAL
HOMES, INC., 2480 Kensington Ave.,
Amherst where a funeral service will be
held at 7 PM. Bryan, a student at SUNY
Buffalo School of Management, studied
abroad during the summer of 2011 and
fall of 2012 at the Singapore Institute
of Management, and was a dual honor
student; a member of Alpha Beta
Gamma (International Business Honor
Society) and Phi Theta Kappa (National
Honor Society of Two Year Colleges),
won the SUNY State Chancellors Award.
He served on the Board of Directors for
the ECC Auxiliary Service Corporation,
was Vice President of the ECC Student
Government Association and Executive
Vice President of Pi Sigma Epsilon:
Professional Business Fraternity
(Omicron Chapter). Online condolences
at www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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Arlene Haug Print
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Visitation:  WEDNESDAY, August 11, 2021:  5-7 PM at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

Service:  THURSDAY, August 12, 2021:  A Funeral Servicel will be held at 10 am at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Eggertsville.

HAUG - Arlene
August 2, 2021. Predeceased by her
parents Charles and Florence (nee
Miller) Haug and sister Shirley (Donald)
Calhoun; loving aunt of Glenn (Judy)
Calhoun, Bruce (Susan) Calhoun and
the late Diane (nee Calhoun) Schmidt,
aunt-in-law of Richard Schmidt; great aunt of
Mary Calhoun, Denise (Tom Carroll) Calhoun,
Megan (Ethan) Grant, Mark (Brittany) Schmidt;
lifelong friend of Grace Buechle and Fern Suckow.
Family and friends may call Wednesday,
5-7 PM at the DIETRICH FUNERAL
HOME, INC., 2480 Kensington Ave.,
Amherst. A Funeral Service will be
held on Thursday at 10AM at St.
Paul’s Lutheran Church, 4007 Main
St., Eggertsville, NY 14226. Please
assemble at church. In lieu of flowers,
memorials can be made to Lutheran
World Relief, PO Box 17061, Baltimore,
MD 21297-1061. Please share your
condolences with the family online at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com

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