Ernest L. “Ernie” Krzyzanowski

Ernest L. “Ernie” Krzyzanowski, 82, of Dunkirk, died Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at home.

He was born December 20, 1930, in Pomfret, son of the late Leo and Helen (Lusczak) Krzyzanowski.

A US Navy veteran from 1948-52, Ernie served aboard the USS Finch, and received the Navy Occupation Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

Ernie retired from Cliffstar Corporation in Dunkirk and also ran Ernie’s Wrecker Service from 1960-1986, with his late wife Marcella.

Ernie enjoyed cars and his picture was most recently in the Observer for Hospice helping to get him a ride in a Corvette convertible from Basil Chevrolet.

He was also involved with the Chautauqua County Fair Association for over 30 years, where he ran the Demolition Derby with the help of his family and “Ernies Animals” baseball team. It all started out when Ernie helped to get tow trucks to help move the wrecked cars and someone to buy them. In the ’80s, Ernie did the officiating of the heats, also the rules and regulations. Taking on the entire responsibility was overwhelming, but he got a lot of support from his wife Marcella, daughter Connie, sons Ken and Rodney, along with their families who were his right hand; and his left hand was Jojo Kuzara, John Pokoj, and Bruce Kaus, Ernie’s Animals Baseball Team and many other people that may have disagreed, but were committed to be part of Ernie’s family of the yearly Demo. He fought to get better prize money for the winners, get the cars on an equal playing field, but wanted to make sure that every driver was in a relatively safe heat. Ernie lived for the demos, critiqued the demos, but most of all loved the special time at the County Fair. Through the 30+ years, Ernie had made some unpopular decisions, but had made life long friendships that no one can ever replace.

His memberships include 50+ years at Citizens Hose Co. #2, VFW Post 1017 and Frank Aquavia Post.

Surviving are children Connie (Bob) Wojcinski of Dunkirk, Ken (Pam) Krzyzanowski of Anderson, SC, Rodney (Robin) Krzyzanowski of Easley, SC, Myra Murphy and Michael (Samantha) Plaza, both of Dunkirk; brothers Archie (Barbara) Krzyzanowski, Ronnie (Pat) Krzyzanowski both of Texas, Richie Krzyzanowski of Dunkirk, Robert “Butchie” (Jane) Krzyzanowski of Sinclairville; sister Mary Ann (Eu-gene) Pauszek of Dunkirk; 13 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, along with many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded by his wife Marcella (Thomas) Krzyzanowski who died January 29, 2013; sister Barbara Brown, and wife Aileen (Turner) Krzyzanowski.

Relatives and friends are welcome to call today from 2-4 and 7-9 PM, at the R. Mackowiak Funeral Home Inc., 56 East Doughty Street in Dunkirk, where funeral services will be held Saturday morning at 11 o’clock. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Chautauqua County, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY, 14750 or Meals on Wheels, 186 Lake Shore Drive West, Dunkirk, NY 14048.