Niagara Gazette


February 11, 2013

Donald R. Sedlak

RANSOMVILLE/TOWN OF LEWISTON — Donald R. Sedlak, age 87, of Ransomville/Town of Lewiston, entered into rest February 11, 2013, at home, under the care of his daughter and Niagara Hospice, after a courageous battle with cancer.  

Don was born January 10, 1926 in Niagara Falls, NY, the middle son of Cleda  (Zinck)  and Henry Sedlak. He enjoyed growing up in the Niagara Falls area learning to fish and hunt for small game with his father. He fondly recalled the last time they caught an abundance of  blue pike in 1953, as blue pike did not return to the Niagara River the following season.

He attended Hyde Park Elementary, Gaskill Junior High and Trott Vocational High School. During his high school years, he played trombone for school and for the Sons of the American Legion Band, and was present for the commemoration of many local historical landmarks. He accelerated in his studies, graduated from electrical shop studies from Trott Vocational High School at the age of 16, and began working at International Graphite and Electrode. At age 17, he enrolled at Clarkson (University) College of Technology in Potsdam, NY, and completed his freshman year of electrical engineering studies.

He was drafted into the US Army in the summer of 1944 and sent to Camp Croft, SC. While serving two years stateside, he was assigned to continue his college coursework at North Carolina State University. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to Clarkson to complete his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1947.

He joined the engineering department of General Abrasives Niagara Falls plant in 1948,     promoted to plant engineer in 1954, assistant plant superintendent in 1964, and superintendent in 1966. He earned his NYS professional engineer license in 1959. He retired from Dresser Industries(General Abrasives) in 1984, as plant manager, after 38 years of service.

While on furlough during active duty, he met and fell in love with Louise Gatlin on July 30, 1945 at Long Beach, Canada, and they married on July 30, 1949. Don and Louise built their home and moved to Ransomville/Town of Lewiston in 1953, where they raised three children. They were married for 57 years until her death in 2007.

A knowledgeable and industrious man, while pursuing his engineering career and raising a  family, he farmed 3.5 acres of Concord grapes which he harvested and sold to Welch for 31 years until 1984, designed and constructed additions to the house, as well as vegetable gardening. He played in General Abrasives recreational leagues for softball until age 39, and continued bowling for many years. He commenced golfing at age 42.

Don is survived by his devoted daughter, Donna (Angus) Andrews of Painted Post, NY; and his two beloved grandsons, Mark Arnold and Paul Angus Andrews. He enjoyed spending time with his two grandsons - especially cooking campfire meals and relaxing during annual vacations in Florida. They remain his source of pride and joy as their college studies include his favorite vocational and recreational activities - electrical engineering at his alma mater, and business and golfing (NCAA Division 1). He is also survived by a brother, Richard (June) Sedlak of Rochester; and two cousins, Arnold Zinck of Pensacola, FL and Dorothy (John)  McGraw of Phoenix, AZ. Sadly, Don was predeceased by his two sons, Donald R. Sedlak, Jr. in 2005 and Arnold W. Sedlak in 1984; and his beloved wife, Louise; a brother, Walter Sedlak and his parents.

Friends may call at HARDISON FUNERAL HOME, N. Fourth and Ridge Sts., Lewiston, on Wednesday, February 13, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with interment immediately following at Riverdale Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Arnold W. Sedlak Memorial Scholarship Fund or The Deacons Fund c/o the First Presbyterian Church of Lewiston.

Please visit for online registry.

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