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Aug. 1, 1916 – Feb. 23, 2014

LEWISTON – Michael W. Collesano, of Lewiston, a business owner and real estate agent, died Sunday in Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence after a lengthy illness. He was 97.

Born in Buffalo, one of seven children, he grew up in Lewiston.

He was a 1934 graduate of the Lewiston Red Brick School and attended Niagara University.

Mr. Collesano enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942. As a member of the Air Wing Division, he was stationed in the Pacific at Guadalcanal from 1943 to 1945 and took part in a number of bombing and strafing operations. He attained the rank of staff sergeant.

Mr. Collesano began a career in sales in 1947, when he opened Michael’s Appliance Store on Center Street in Lewiston, which he and his wife operated for 17 years.

From 1960 to 1965, he also operated the Buffalo Haberdasher hat store in Buffalo.

In the late 1960s, he ran Michael’s Pizza on Center Street in Lewiston, then worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Niagara Falls for several years.

Becoming a real estate agent, he was associated with his sister and her husband in Dan & Lucy Wilson Realtors in Youngstown, which closed in 1990.

He also was an associate director for the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.

The oldest member of Downriver Post 7487, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Collesano also was a 66-year member of C.C. Kinney Post 1083, American Legion.

He met his wife of 57 years, the former Mildred Radick, when she was serving as a communications facility supervisor in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in North Carolina. She died in 2003.

Survivors include nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Peter Catholic Church, 600 Center St., followed by military honors.