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Nov. 2, 1928 – Jan. 23, 2014

Michael A. Diati, former owner of Avenue Florist in Kenmore, died Jan. 23 in Niagara Lutheran Home after a three-year illness. He was 85.

Mr. Diati, a Buffalo native and lifelong resident, worked as a waiter at two local restaurants, Chez Ami and the Town Casino, from 1946 to 1951. He was head waiter at the latter.

After a stint in the Navy, Mr. Diati became involved in flowers. He operated Avenue Florist on Delaware Avenue from 1966 until the late 1970s and also worked at Michael’s Florist, the Floristry, and Maureen’s Wholesale Flowers, the latter from 2006 to 2010, when he became ill.

He taught flower arranging in evening adult education classes at Hoover Middle School in the Town of Tonawanda, and also taught orchid growing at conventions. He was a member of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society.

On one occasion, Mr. Diati traveled to Oklahoma and designed dresses made out of flowers for models to wear at a convention, according to his caregiver, Toni Tripi, who along with her brother, Leonard Amato, took care of him before he entered the nursing home. Tripi said Mr. Diati, who never learned to drive, was an tireless walker.

He also enjoyed traveling, especially to Italy. He enjoyed cooking for friends and making wine, a skill he learned from his father.

Surviving are a brother, Samuel, and sister, Josephine.

A memorial service will be scheduled. He donated his body to UB Medical School