Jan. 23, 1921 – June 28, 2013

Joseph D. Ieradi, who over several decades repaired countless pairs of shoes in a small shop on Abbott Road in Lackawanna, died June 28 in his Lackawanna home. He was 92.

A native of Cortale, Italy, he arrived in the U.S. as a young boy and grew up in Chicago.

Mr. Ieradi was an accomplished baseball player as a young man and, according to his family, he was signed to a contract by the Chicago Cubs, although he never played at the major league level.

After a stint in the Civilian Conservation Corps, at a camp in Wisconsin, he returned to Chicago and began to learn the skills of shoe repair. He moved to Buffalo after meeting Angeline Limardi, a Buffalo resident who would become his wife.

He began his own shoe repair business in Lackawanna in 1955 and became known across the Steel City and beyond as “Joe the Shoemaker.” He often regaled customers with entertaining stories about his baseball playing days, growing up in Chicago and his triumphs and defeats as a prominent local bowler.

“He was a mentor for most of the shoemakers in Erie County,” said his daughter Angelina Niziurski. “He was a fixture in Lackawanna since 1955, and not only for just Lackawanna, but for Buffalo and the other suburbs.”

He continued working until he was 90.

His wife of 56 years died in 2003.

Survivors include two other daughters, Nancy and Laura.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered July 3 in Our Lady of Victory Basilica. Photo sent to picdesk