Submitted by his Wife
GERALD A. MACHAJEWSKI‚VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERDecember 19‚ 1943 – May 21‚ 2006
Gerald A. Machajewski suffered a fatal heart attack on Sunday‚ May 21‚ 2006‚ while helping victims of a three vehicle crash on Saunders Settlement Road‚ Cambria‚ New York.
Mr. Machajewski was pronounced dead on arrival at Lockport Memorial Hospital‚ Lockport‚ New York. He was 62.
Howard Morgan‚ Cambria fire company president‚ said Mr. Machajewski joined the department eight months ago after he moved to Cambria‚ New York from Lockport‚ New York.
Mr. Morgan‚ who also is the Cambria fire department chaplain‚ said the death has hit the department hard. ‘When you go down in the line of duty‚ it is very unique. We told his wife that they are part of a bigger family‚’ Mr. Morgan said.
Mr. Machajewski was working ‘scene support‚’ a new program of less-strenuous activities designed specifically for older volunteers. He was talking to the crash victims – teens with minor injuries – because he was ‘so good with kids‚’ Mr. Morgan said. He collapsed as he helped one of the victims into an ambulance‚ Mr. Morgan said.
Mr. Machajewski had long been active in community service‚ recently working with the Erie County Community Emergency Response Team program and then helping Niagara County develop its own program. Its volunteers are called upon to coordinate services in the event of a disaster.
The Buffalo‚ New York native was a graduate of Erie Community College in Williamsville‚ New York‚ and Fredonia State College in Fredonia‚ New York. He worked as a manufacturing chemist for Delphi Thermal Systems in Lockport‚ New York for more than 20 years‚ retiring in 2001.
Mr. Machajewski was a member of the Harrison G-9 Group‚ Buffalo Choral Arts Society‚ and Chopin Singing Society.
He enjoyed drum and bugle corps and was a fan of the Madison Scouts Drum Corps. He was a Boy Scout Leader for Troop 4 at St. John the Baptist Church in Lockport‚ New York for several years.
His first wife‚ Nancy Gawrys Machajewski‚ died in 1983. He and his wife‚ the former Mary S. Neary‚ would have celebrated their 20th anniversary on May 23‚ 2006.
Survivors also include a son‚ Erick‚ of Lockport‚ New York‚ and a sister‚ Veronica Szalasny‚ of Delevan‚ New York.