April 3, 1928 – March 4, 2013

Laurence E. “Larry” Erb, of East Aurora, a business owner and founder of the Buffalo Ski Club, died Monday in Mercy Hospital from heart complications. He was 84.

Born in Buffalo, he started his career in business with a newspaper route in South Buffalo.

He left West Seneca to serve in the Coast Guard in 1945 and was stationed at two lighthouses on Long Island during the final days of World War II.

Returning from service, he joined the family business, George Erb & Co. in South Buffalo, which was founded by his grandfather.

He became president following the death of his father in 1949 and transformed Erb Co. Inc. into a wholesaler of plumbing and heating supplies.

He turned over presidency of the company 15 years ago to his son Allen but continued to work there until recently.

Mr. Erb built and operated the Econolodge motel and the adjacent restaurant, the Homestead Eating Establishment, on Milestrip Road in Blasdell.

He also was a part-time pilot for 15 years for Buffalo Aeronautic Corp. and owned his own airplane.

His passion for skiing led him to establish the Sitzmarker Ski Club, more familiarly known as the Buffalo Ski Club, next to Tamarack ski area in the Boston hills. He served as president and treasurer for many years.

He also enjoyed organic gardening and winemaking.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, the former Shirley G. Allen; three daughters, Laurie Perry, Jolie McShane and Danielle Webb; two sons, Michael and Allen; and a sister, Phyllis Banas.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Friday in Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 345 Main St., East Aurora.