Feb. 7, 1922 - Sept. 27, 2012
Chester A. Ostrowski, of Cheektowaga, a veteran of World War II, former general building contractor and tireless volunteer worker for various Catholic churches and schools, died Thursday in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center after a short illness. He was 90.
A native of Buffalo, Mr. Ostrowski lived on Amherst Street and Hertel Avenue for many years before he moved to Cheektowaga.
He attended Assumption School through the fourth grade, where classes were taught in English and Polish. During the Great Depression, his family no longer could afford the 50-cent-per-month tuition, so he transferred to School 42 on Grant Street. He graduated from Burgard Vocational High School with the Class of 1941.
Drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, he was assigned to the 97th Infantry Division as a medic. While on maneuvers with the 97th in Louisiana, he was transferred to the Army Air Forces P-47 School in Long Island, and then assigned to duty at Bradley Air Field near Hartford, Conn., and Westover Field near Springfield, Mass.
He worked on B17 bombers and P47 fighter planes, and served as a flight chief overseeing mechanics and maintenance crews.
Upon discharge, he worked as a carpenter and shortly thereafter founded Ostrowski Builders Inc. with his brother, the late Stanley J. Ostrowski.
As general contractors, they left an extensive mark in Western New York, having built or remodeled many prominent structures, including Assumption Church and School in Buffalo, St. Andrew's in the Town of Tonawanda, New Joseph's New Cathedral and the former Swiss Chalet restaurant in Buffalo, Four Seasons Restaurant in Cheektowaga, the Knights of Columbus Kenmore Council on Kenmore Avenue and Kolano Funeral Home on Amherst Street.
In addition to his commercial ventures, Mr. Ostrowski built a private home in North Buffalo, and its owner referred his services to the proprietor of the Food Town supermarket in Kenmore, where he met the owner's daughter, Yvonne Moses, whom he married in 1957. She died in 2006.
Mr. Ostrowski served as commander of Niagara Frontier, Post 1041, American Legion, where he was active for many years. In 1993, he was given the St. Joseph the Worker Award by the Diocese of Buffalo in recognition of his labors on behalf of the diocese.
Survivors include four sons, Mark, John, Matthew and Luke; a daughter, Agnes Long; a sister, Laura Gramza; and two brothers, Henry and Richard.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today in Assumption Catholic Church, 435 Amherst St., after prayers at 9 in Kolano Funeral Home, 396 Amherst St.