Feb. 3, 1925 – July 9, 2013

Richard J. Borowiak, a trucking company executive who was active in the Shrine and the Republican Party, died unexpectedly Tuesday after becoming ill in his home in Eden. He was 88.

Born in Buffalo, he was placed in the German Roman Catholic Orphan Home when he was 11 after the death of his mother. Three years later, he persuaded the priests to release him. While attending Burgard Vocational High School, he got his driver’s license, lying about his age, and began his career as an over-the-road trucker.

He enlisted in the Army a month after Pearl Harbor and served stateside for more than four years, then returned to truck driving.

Mr. Borowiak and a partner formed Lake Erie Transportation Co. in 1962 and he served as vice president. In 1968, they purchased another trucking company, George W. Burnett Inc., which became a division of Lake Erie Transportation, and he served as its president. He continued working until his death.

He was a life member of the Republican National Committee and a member of the New York State Republican Committee and the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle. As a delegate to a Republican presidential convention, he met Ronald Reagan.

A devoted Shriner, Mr. Borowiak was involved in many activities at Ismailia Temple, where he was chief of staff in 1985. He was a member of the Chanters, the Provost Guard, the Mini Kar Corps, the Buccaneers, the Camel Herders and the PHDs.

He was chairman of several activities and raised funds for the Hospital Travel Fund. He served on the board of directors of the Shrine Hospital in Erie, Pa., from 1985 to 1987. He also was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Court 22.

Also a dedicated Mason, Mr. Borowiak was a member of Living Stone Lodge 255, Free & Accepted Masons; the Scottish Rite Consistory, Valley of Buffalo; Mount Sinai Chapter 293, Royal Arch Masons; and Lake Erie Commandery 20, Knights Templar.

An Eden resident since 1962, he was a former member of the Buffalo Launch Club, the Hamburg Power Squadron, the Eden Chamber of Commerce and the Antique Auto Club of America. His favorite car was a 1931 Packard.

Surviving are his wife of 20 years, the former Marian Zamorski, and a daughter, Pamela Martines.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 8791 S. Main St., Eden.