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Nov. 15, 1947 – Jan. 5, 2014

Gerald F. Maciuba, longtime owner of Paperback Trading Post on Seneca Street, died Sunday in Mercy Hospital. He was 66.

Mr. Maciuba suffered from muscular dystrophy from the time he was a child, according to his wife of 23 years, the former Rose Polak.

He grew up in Depew and attended St. Mary’s High School before deciding he wanted to enter the priesthood.

“But being a priest was not for him,” his wife said. “So he started a trucking business and drove a truck with hand controls until it became too difficult for him to get in and out of the cab.”

“Gerry found his way to paperbacks,” she said. “For 38 years, he refused to give the store up even though his physical limitations were increasing.”

Mr. Maciuba was described as a reader who always had time to listen to his customers.

“There were days he would wake up and he was so sore,” his wife said. “I urged him to stay home, but he said being at the store made him feel better.”

Paperback Trading Post had been closed for 18 months because Mr. Maciuba lost his ability to speak, his wife said.

“He was learning to talk with a machine; the machine would speak for him,” she said. “We were to reopen the store, but he passed away.”

Mr. Maciuba often contributed books to hospitals and nursing homes, his wife said.

In 2009, Mr. Maciuba received the Robert Ross Muscular Dystrophy Association Personal Achievement Award for Western New York.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three stepdaughters, Dawn Schneider, Angel Schneider and DeeDee Schneider, and four grandchildren.

Prayers will be said at 1 p.m. Friday in James W. Cannan Funeral Home, 2397 Seneca St.