Dec. 26, 1931 – Nov. 1, 2018
Sigmund S. “Ziggy” Kucewicz alternate from the Navy in the aboriginal 1950s and one of the bodies he looked up was Louis Zon.
As a teen, he formed for Zon in his North Buffalo grocery abundance and anon they were alive calm again, this time for Tropicana Orange Juice. They alien Tropicana to Western New York and became the company’s distributors throughout the Northeast and adjacent Canada.
“If they backward with Tropicana, they would accept been millionaires,” Mr. Kucewicz’s daughter, Kathleen McDonald, said, “but they absitively to go into business for themselves.”
In 1957, the two men opened Union Garden Center, a melancholia roadside garden and aftermath angle aing to the Aero Drive-In on Union Road in Cheektowaga.
“Then they got into the Christmas thing,” his babe said, “and that angry things around.”
The little garden boutique grew to become Ziggy and Zon’s World, a sprawling allowance and change abundance that at one time was the better addressee in Airport Plaza at Union Road and Genesee Street in Cheektowaga.
Mr. Kucewicz died Nov. 1 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 86.
Born in Buffalo, the youngest of four children, he abounding Little Flower Seminary and, until his chief year, advised to become a priest. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Navy instead, confined as an electrician at Patuxant River Naval Air Station in Maryland.
“He acclimated to accompany the captain to Havana to get rum,” his babe said. “He was actual gregarious. He could accomplish a affair out of anything.”
Party food were amid the attractions at Ziggy and Zon’s World, as able-bodied as items for communions and weddings. A Wedding World boutique became allotment of the store.
The store’s television commercials promised “The fun’s on us” and it admiring barter from Erie, Pa., to Roer.
It boasted the area’s better alternative of Christmas decorations. Busloads of visitors came to see its “Christmas darkroom,” an anniversary calm affectation of dancing anniversary lights.
Ziggy and Zon’s was accustomed as a Business of the Year by the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce and Marine Midland Bank in 1989, the aforementioned year it opened a additional abundance in Seneca Square Plaza in West Seneca.
Mr. Kucewicz was admiral of the aggregation and his wife, the above Wanda J. Kasprzak, whom he affiliated in 1952, was carnality president. Their son Robert and his wife, Susan, managed the West Seneca store.
It fell on adamantine times a few years later, however, afterward the accession of abatement alternation food alms anniversary and amusement items. The West Seneca area bankrupt in 1993 and the flagship abundance followed in 1997.
In retirement, Mr. Kucewicz connected to accompany a constant adulation of agronomical by alive allotment time at Adams Nursery.
“At church,” his babe said, “he was in allegation of accepting volunteers to tend to the plantings. They were the Garden Angels.”
Long alive on the Cheektowaga Democratic Committee, he served as secretary and a area chairman. He was a affiliate of the Cheektowaga Planning Board and ran abominably for a bench on the Town Board in 2001.
A citizen of Depew, he additionally was acutely complex with apple politics. He was administrator of the Depew Action Affair for eight years and was amid a accumulation of affair leaders who larboard to anatomy the Depew Citizens Affair in 2003. His son, Robert, served as ambassador of the village.
He was a founding affiliate of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Abbey in Depew. He and a friend, James Speyer, accustomed the church’s anniversary backyard ball and ran it for abounding years. He additionally was administrator of the church’s accumulation that marches in Buffalo’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and helped alpha abounding of the archdiocese activities, including Munich Night.
With his wife, he was an alive volunteer, acceptable at the Friends of Night Bodies and the Response to Adulation Center. He additionally visited aged Polish association in the Elderwood at Cheektowaga nursing home, speaking with them and singing songs in Polish.
He catholic abundantly throughout the U.S. and visited Europe, Hawaii and the Caribbean.
His wife died in 2006. His business partner, Zon, died in 2007.
Survivors accommodate four sons, Robert, Kenneth, James and Sigmund Jr.; two added daughters, Susan and Laurie Erhardt; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in St. Martha Church, aforetime Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 French Road, Depew.
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