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May 27, 1937 – Dec. 25, 2013

Stephen Graczyk, a professor, mathematician and computer specialist who worked with NASA and had a passion for space study, died Wednesday in his Town of Tonawanda home. He was 76.

He spent 25 years, most of his career, at IBM. He also did some work on classified government projects, which included NASA.

Mr. Graczyk graduated from Amherst High School in 1954 and earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Buffalo. He taught math at his alma mater and the University of Florida.

He played hockey for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he started his undergraduate studies, before finishing at UB. For the last eight years, he was a baseball and softball umpire for the Niagara Frontier Officials Association of Western New York.

Mr. Graczyk had a keen interest in history, theology and the universe and was known for watching documentaries and reading. “He was kind of like a historian,” said Craig Kanalley, his grandson. His interest in sharing knowledge was a part of his generous nature, said Karen Kanalley, Mr. Graczyk’s daughter and Craig’s mother.

Mr. Graczyk was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, the former Lois Grundtisch, who died in 2002.

In addition to his daughter, Karen, he is survived by a son, Brian; three sisters, Lucille, Arlene Madigan and Nancy; a brother, Richard; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Monday in St. Christopher Catholic Church, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Town of Tonawanda.