on January 10, 2014 - 5:12 PM
March 19, 1922 – Dec. 29, 2013
Eugene J. Zdybowicz Sr., of Williamsville, a retired postal worker, died Dec. 29 in St. John Baptist Hospice House. He was 91.
Born in Buffalo to Polish immigrants who operated a family fruit and vegetable business in the old open-air Broadway Market, he contracted polio at age 2. Although the illness left him without the use of his right arm and limited use of his right leg, he never let that stand in his way.
He began working in the family’s business at age 10 while attending School 10. In his teens, he picked up wholesale produce to sell at the market.
Not allowed to play sports as a student at Kensington High School because of his disability, Mr. Zdybowicz pursued his passion for baseball in the city leagues.
Nicknamed “Lefty,” he played right field and shortstop.
During World War II, he enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Memphis, Tenn., where he served as a hospital orderly and a baker.
When the family business closed upon the death of his father in 1957, he took a position as a mail handler at the Main Post Office and advanced to foreman. He retired in 1989.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, the former Eleonore Stefaniak; five daughters, Claudia Preve, Janice Schlau, Natalie Wopperer, Nancy Zee and Bernadette Rizzo; a son, Eugene Jr.; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. next Saturday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville.