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396 Amherst St.
Phone: 716-873-1440

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Louis J. "Lou"
1939 - 2018
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Obituary for Louis "Lou" Kaminski

Louis "Lou"  Kaminski
KAMINSKI - Louis J. Of Tonawanda TWP. January 12, 2018, at age 78. Beloved husband of Audrey (Dyl); loving father of Kathleen and the late James Michael Kaminski; brother-inlaw of Kenneth (Patricia) and Thomas (Kathleen) Dyl; godfather of Dr. Karl Kozlowski; also survived by a niece, nephews, cousins, and dear friend Steve Zalewski, whose friendship and support made the good times better and the hard times easier. There are no prior visitations. Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at Assumption Church, 435 Amherst St. Wednesday at 10 AM. Interment with US Navy Military Honors at Elmlawn Cemetery. Louis graduated from the Navy School of Music and was a member of the Buffalo Musician’s Local #92 and the Colored Musicians Club. Memorial contributions to the Assumption Church Preservation Fund or the Colored Musicians Club would be appreciated. Please share your memories and online condolences at


May 17, 1939 – January 12, 2018

Lou’s music career began as a student at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute under the tutelage of Harry Slater with additional private lessons by Eugene Bishop of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Sam Noto. After graduation, Lou traveled to Washington D.C. where he auditioned and was accepted into the U.S. Navy School of Music. While stationed in Washington, it was Lou’s duty and privilege to play “Taps” at Arlington National Cemetery.

As a member of the U.S.N. Fleet Band, Lou traveled with the Fleet Admiral and served on the U.S. Ships Intrepid, Canberra, and Northhampton. They performed at various ports-of-call as well as the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium. While stationed in Philadelphia, Lou continued with private lessons in trumpet performance as well as music arrangement and composition. Lou Kaminski was asked to join the Maynard Ferguson Band- an offer he refused because of his commitment to the Navy.

After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Lou Kaminski returned to Buffalo and began his career in the book business. He was employed by the University at Buffalo, was manager of the Frontier Medical Book and Supply Store; moved to Seattle, Washington where he was department manager of the Washington Bookstore. In 1966, he returned to Buffalo and was Manager of the D’Youville College Bookstore and was instrumental in designing their new bookstore. From D’Youville, Lou Kaminski was manager of the Canisius College and then, Buffalo State College Bookstores.

He was an active member of NACS (National Association of College Stores) and past-President of the New York State College Store Association. He earned the title of College Store Professional (C.P.S.)

Taking early retirement, Lou was employed by Nichols School to manage their bookstore. At Nichols, he assisted Music Director, Tim Schwartz, with the school’s orchestra and Jazz bands as well as lectured on music history. Lou Kaminski retired from the book business in 2000.

During all his years as a bookman, music was his passion. He formed a Jazz group- The Louis Stone Quartet. His pride of his Polish heritage and the music it inspired led him to form The Polka Classics. Lou Kaminski was a member of the Musicians’ Local 92, the George Scott Big Band and a proud member of the Colored Musicians Club.

Son of the late Louis and Gertrude (Gurzynski) Kaminski, Louis Kaminski was a graduate of the U.S. Navy School of Music. He was a trumpet section member of the Admiral’s Band and served on the U.S. ships Intrepid, Canberra, and Northhampton. While on tour of duty in Northern Europe, the band was invited to perform at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium. Stationed in Philadelphia, Lou studied music arrangement and composition.

When he was stationed in Washington, D.C., it was his honor and privilege to play “Taps” at Arlington Cemetery. Honorably discharged from the Navy, Lou Kaminski began his career as a bookman. He was employed by the University of Buffalo Bookstore, Washington Bookstore in Seattle, and was college store manager at D’Youville, where he was instrumental in designing their new bookstore, Canisius College and Buffalo State College Bookstore. During this time, he was a member of NACS (National Association of College Stores) and was also President of the NYS College Stores Association. While at Buffalo State, Lou Kaminski completed his Bachelor of Science degree and also earned his CSP (College Store Professional) title.
Retiring from the college scene, Lou was employed by Nichols School to take charge of their bookstore. He also assisted Music Director, Tim Schwartz, with the Nichols Orchestra and Jazz Band. Music was always a part of his life. He formed the jazz group, “The Louis Stone Quartet”, was a member of the Seattle Community Symphony Orchestra and in later years, his love of Polish music led him to organize his own polka band, “The Polka Classics”. Lou Kaminski was a member of Musicians’ Local 92 and the Colored Musicians’ Club where he performed with the Art Anderson and Macy Favor Bands and was a long-time member of the George Scott Big Band. He played trumpet and flugelhorn and also wrote big band arrangements for the group. Lou also contributed his talent in CD recordings for the Krohawk Recording Studio in Buffalo.

Lou Kaminski’s knowledge and expertise as a musician and bookman was recognized and highly respected. He will be missed by all who knew him.

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