Weekly Feature

2018-05-16 / Obituaries

Lou Hammerl, founded Hammerl Amusements

Lou Hammerl, 91, of Buffalo, died Monday, April 30, 2018.

Mr. Hammerl was born on Feb. 17, 1927, in Buffalo and graduated from East High School. He was a Buffalo firefighter who also founded Hammerl Amusements.

Hammerl Amusements grew over the years to include dozen of rides and games for events such as church carnivals and county fairs. He had provided midway rides for Williamsville’s Old Home Days since it began.

Mr. Hammerl turned over the company to his children in 1991, and his daughter, Lynn Ritchie, is now the president.

When he began working for Niagara Frontier Transit, now NFTA, in 1950, he was one of the last streetcar operators and then became a bus driver. He joined the Buffalo Fire Department in 1960 and after he retired in 1979, he devoted himself full time to Hammerl Amusements.

Mr. Hammerl was honored as Showman of the Year in 2006 by the New York State Showpeople’s Association.

He also helped organize the Walden Bailey Athletic Club, which played baseball, formed bowling leagues and organized family picnics for more than 70 years.

Mr. Hammerl is survived by his wife, Joanne (nee Colangelo); five children, Lynn Ritchie, Mark, Michael, Peter and Gregory; one sibling, Anna Mazur; 14 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Amy (nee Szczepanski).

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on May 4 in Our Lady of Peace Church in Clarence.

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