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Nov. 29, 1932 – Dec. 21, 2012

James G. Pierakos, who represented short-line railroad workers in contract negotiations, died Friday at Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a long illness. He was 80.

He graduated from South Park High School in Buffalo. He left the University of Buffalo in 1951 to enlist in the Marine Corps and serve in the Korean War.

While serving, he was burned over more than 50 percent of his body after a cooking accident. He was discharged in 1954 with the rank of sergeant.

Mr. Pierakos, of Hamburg, worked for the South Buffalo Railway as a brakeman.

In 1967, he was the youngest general chairman of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and from 1982 to 1987 was international vice president for the United Transportation Union, said his daughter, Pamela A. Orcutt.

As vice president, Mr. Pierakos represented short-line railroad workers in the Northeast, and negotiated contracts and mediated labor disputes.

He returned to the railway in 1987 and retired in 1992.

Mr. Pierakos also was instrumental in the creation of the South Towns Community Federal Credit Union and was vice president of the board of directors at the time of his death.

He also was a member of Post 63, American Legion.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 57 years, Phyllis M., and a son, George M.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, 767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna.