Richard L. Piotrowski of Cheektowaga, a decorated World War II veteran and local restaurateur, died Tuesday [September 14, 2010] in Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 89.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Seneca Vocational High School and joined the Marine Corps on his 21st birthday.
As a member of Edson’s Raiders during World War II, Mr. Piotrowski fought in the Battle of Bloody Ridge on Solomon Islands that saved Guadalcanal. He was wounded when a hand grenade exploded and was awarded the Purple Heart. He later was a longtime member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans.
Upon returning from the war, Mr. Piotrowski joined his family’s restaurant business, Ray’s Cafe, a popular East Side eatery noted for its Friday night fish frys. He and his brother, Edwin, eventually took over the business from their father. Richard Piotrowski retired in 1985.
He participated in many local golf tournaments. In 1983, he hit a hole-in-one at Dande Farms Golf Course in Akron.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, the former Alice F. Dee; two daughters, Sharon and Denise.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a. m. Thursday in Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga.