This year the Valley Community Association will be honoring five very special people who passed away this past year, who impacted the community, and were great supporters of the Valley at the 26th Annual “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade Presented by Powers Irish Whiskey and Sponsored by Labatt USA on Saturday, March 16th, 2019.

Doris Bouquard

Doris loved to sit on the porch with Cyril’s mother and listen to her mother-in-law’s stories. She always loved life in the Ward – the people, the friendliness, the sense of community, and the Irish “flavor.”

Mary Doris Brogan Bouquard, who passed away November 15th, 2018, was one of nine children born to Patrick Brogan, hailing from County Cork, Ireland, and Esther Roach Brogan from Nova Scotia. Doris was born on Abby Street and attended St. Agatha’s School and P.S. #28. At age sixteen, through an introduction by his cousin Betty O’Donnell, Doris met Cyril Bouquard, who was seven years her senior. Their courtship included many days at his family’s business – “Bouquard’s Boat Livery”, located at Tifft Street and Fuhrmann Boulevard. Doris and Cyril married in 1947 and lived in the Old First Ward. Throughout their marriage, Doris and Cyril were blessed with ten children – Mary (late Harvey) Guillow, John (Lita) Bouquard, Maggie (Joe) Krug, Geri (late Michael) Comerford, Trisha (Jim) Hiller, June (Tom) McMahon, James Bouquard, Theresa (Paul Horohoe) Bouquard, Anne (Tony) Makowski and the late Robert “Bogie” (Lori) Bouquard. Doris was the grandmother of 17 and great-grandmother of 21.

Her husband Cyril was actively involved with the Old First Ward Community Association and Doris followed suit, volunteering since the late 1970’s. She volunteered for the Shamrock Run for almost 40 years, with her home being the distribution point for over 4000 Shamrock Run shirts every year for the 17 years before the new OFW center was built. Doris also served on the Old First Ward Board of Directors in the late 1980’s. She also was involved with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, organizing the “Remember the Ward” nights and other activities. Doris served as the Grand Marshal of the 2001 “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade, an honor bestowed upon her for her contributions to the neighborhood and community.

Doris Bouquard
Debbie Felschow
Debbie Felschow

Debbie had many accomplishments in her life but the one she cherished the most was that she raised her children to be strong, independent and simply good people. Debbie also prided herself with being a good friend to all. She would give a friend anything that they needed whether it be the shirt off her back, the last dollar in her purse, or just a shoulder to lean on.

Debbie was the daughter of the late Charles and Edna (Dufrane) McDonald and is the sister of Charlie (Carolyn) and Pat (Linda) McDonald. She grew up in South Buffalo and belonged to St. Agatha’s Parish.

She had such a tremendous impact on her neighborhood, the Old First Ward. She volunteered countless hours to the Old First Ward football league, she was a former board member of the OFW Community Association, volunteered for the Valley Community Association at Buffalo River Fest Park for the Wednesday concerts and at the annual Buffalo River Fest, and of course at the Shamrock Run. Whatever was asked of Debbie, she always said yes with a smile on her face. When Debbie walked into an establishment, whether it be The Club, The Center, Cook’s Bar & Grill or Gene McCarthy’s, her smile just lit up the room.

Unfortunately, in December of 2017, Debbie was diagnosed with cancer. On July 13th, 2018, she became her family’s guardian angel. St. Patrick’s Day was her favorite time of year and she is surely looking down on the festivities, with her infectious smile, saying “Go enjoy yourselves and have an Ultra for me!”

Sheriff Tom Higgins

Throughout his life, Higgins dedicated his time and energy to dozens of veteran, civic and public safety organizations, serving as President of the Buffalo Naval and Military Park Board of Directors, a member of the Buffalo Commission on Citizen’s Rights and Community Relations, President of the Buffalo State College Alumni Association and Chairman of the Korean War Memorial Committee.

Thomas “Tom” Higgins was born in 1930 in the Valley neighborhood to the late Thomas and Margaret (Power) and was raised on St. Stephen’s Place with his siblings Richard, Kevin, James and John, Mary, Patricia, Joan, Kathleen.

He attended St. Stephens grammar school as well as South Park High School. He dropped out of high school to enlist in the United States Marine Corp. At the age of 21, he served in the Korean War, completing a three-year tour of duty, serving in the 1st Marine Division, 11th Regiment until his honorable discharge in 1954. Following his discharge from the Marines, Tom completed his GED. Tom went on to attend Erie Community College, earning an Associate Degree and then going on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College. Higgins eventually received his Master’s Degree in History at the age of 66 from the University of Buffalo. Throughout his career he also taught others, leading lectures at local high schools, colleges, and at the Central Police Academy.

He spent more than 40 years in law enforcement, first in the Buffalo Police Department, where he worked for 21 years as a precinct level detective, Lieutenant, and at the Buffalo Police Academy. In 1977 began his career at the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, serving as the Undersheriff and was first elected as Erie County Sheriff in 1985. He remained the Sheriff until 1997. As Sheriff he established the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation to assist local public safety departments with the purchase of specialized training and equipment and also co-founded and chaired the New York State Sheriff’s Association Scholarship Fund.

Tom, who passed away on June 26th, 2018, was married to Shirley (Cancilla), whom he married September 9th, 1961, and father to Timothy, Daniel (Julie) and Thomas “Fitz” (Kelly) Higgins. He was loving grandfather of Kevin, Maggie, Leah, Ben, Quinn, Emma, Fiona and Tommy Higgins.

Sheriff Tom Higgins
Tom Moran
Tom Moran
Tom Moran

Tom also loved music and you could find him on many summer nights relaxing on his front porch listening to the music of U2. And if you did happen to stop by and join him, you would for sure be told when the song was written, where it was written and the entire meaning behind the lyrics. He was the same way with movies. He also loved nature and the way the universe worked. If the news said there would be a certain star in the sky that night or the moon was going to be in a rare phase, he would make sure Kelly and his girls were there to witness it, which often-times meant waking them up at any time of the night that it was happening to go outside and see it!

Tom Moran was born in South Buffalo on October 1, 1968 to James and Helen (Mannion) Moran. He was the youngest of 6 children, having one sister, the late Kathleen, and four brothers, James (Darlene), Kevin, Brian (Julie) and Terry.  Tom attended St. Ambrose Grammar School, Bishop Timon High School, and graduated from SUNY Brockport.

He married Kelly Buczkowski. They met in kindergarten and went through grammar school together. They were lifelong friends who eventually were married at St. Ambrose Church in November of 1999. They went on to have two beautiful daughters, Ava who is 13 years old, and Lila who is 9 years old.  He is the son-in-law of Joanne (Geary) Buczkowski and the late Stanley Buczkowski and the brother-in-law of Michael (Diane) Buczkowski and Kathy (Tim) Driscoll.

Tom was a 25-year member of the Buffalo Police Department and served as a Patrol Officer, Lieutenant, Underwater Recovery Team Commander, and lastly as the Chief of A District for five years.

Tom was an avid sports fan. His favorite thing to do in the summer was to head to the ballpark and watch the Buffalo Bisons play ball. He also was a lifelong Bills season ticket holder and never wanted to give up his seats even when they didn’t win. He said he would give them up to his kids when they were old enough to go. He also was a huge Boston Red Sox and Buffalo Sabres fan.

Tom was a friend to many, always helping out when needed or relishing in something good that happened for them. He often bragged to friends about his other friends and their accomplishments as a remarkable Police Officer or an accomplished Diver on the Police Dive Team.

Some of Tom’s best times as a Police Officer were when he was stationed at C District. He often said they were “magic days with magic people” of a great platoon and was so proud of all they accomplished. He was even more proud of the friendships and bonds he made there. He also loved being on the Underwater Recovery Team. He loved to dive and to be part of a special group of people that understood the seriousness of what they were up against and the satisfaction of a successful save or recovery that would mean so much to help solve a crime or help someone’s family.

Then came Tom’s time as the A District Police Chief. He always wanted to make things better for everyone, the people of the neighborhood and the for the Police Officers and staff that he worked with. He worked tirelessly as a Chief, 24 hours a day. He said he was only as good as the people he worked with and there was no place he would rather be at that point in his career. He loved being in South Buffalo, the neighbored where he lived and grew up – it was where is heart was. As the A District Chief, Tom was instrumental in helping the Valley Community Association with the organization and police detail assigned to the “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Kelly, Ava, and Lila were the cornerstone of his life. He loved to watch Ava and Lila play basketball, soccer, softball and to watch them at their dance recitals. He used to joke that they got their sports ability from their mom and their dance moves from him. Before the kids were born, he and Kelly would jump in the car and drive to catch a baseball game and they never missed a Bills home game until the babies came along, which was their dream come true! The two of them just enjoyed being home and in the summer on their front porch hanging out with family and friends and always considered themselves lucky that they knew each for their entire lives.

Tom was adored by his family and loved and respected by the community and his many friends. His memory lives on in all that were privileged to have known him and without a doubt live on in Ava and Lila. Anyone who talked with Tom, without fail, could count on being greeted with “HEY BUDDY”.

Brian Strobele

Brian and Jesica (Lausin) were married in September 2017 – where he also gained a stepdaughter, Kaylyn, who he loved as his own. The newlyweds enjoyed spending time at their cottage on Silver Lake together, near Perry in Wyoming County, fishing and boating. He was happiest when family was together. In August 2018 he entertained the first Strobele family reunion, which the family hopes to continue in his memory.

Brian S. Strobele was one of ten children born to Joseph and the late Alice (nee Dudas) Strobele. Born and raised in Buffalo, Brian grew up on Duerstein Street in South Buffalo. He attended St. John the Evangelist grade school and graduated from Hutch Tech High School in 1982.

To begin his professional career, Brian began taking civil service tests, following in the footsteps of his father; a now-retired Buffalo Fireman. Brian was offered jobs by both the Buffalo Fire Department and the United States Postal Service, but chose a position with the Buffalo Police Department in 1986. Early in his career, he was assigned to guard the City Hall office of then-Mayor James Griffin.

Brian was promoted to Lieutenant in the BPD in December of 1996 and again to Chief of the South District in 2007. As South District Chief, Brian was heavily involved with local block clubs and helped the Valley Community Association with “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade preparations and police details. Brian returned to Lieutenant in 2010 after political restructuring, where he held his post until retirement. Lieutenant Strobele retired in November 2017 after 31 years of service.

Brian’s pride and joy have always been his three daughters, Ashley, Amanda and Alice. He was an active parent in their extracurricular activities growing up and was known on the side of every soccer and softball field and in every ice hockey rink. Brian was looking forward to spending time with his first grandchild, Thomas Jr., who was born in April 2018.

Brian passed away unexpectedly at 53 years young on September 16th, 2018. He is survived by his wife Jesica (Lausin) Strobele, children Ashley (Thomas) Misener, Amanda (Richie) Carr, Alice (Aaron Lutz) Strobele, stepdaughter Kaylyn Doty, grandson Thomas Misener, Jr., father Joseph W. Strobele, and siblings Sue (George) Giambrone, Cheryl (James) Kane, Joseph W. Strobele, Jr., Karen Lewis, Debra Strobele, David Strobele, Lori (Eugene) Kmidowski, Shelley (David) Lillis and Michael J. Strobele as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.

Brian Strobele

Grand Marshal Dawn Brady Carpino:

Dawn Brady Carpino has been chosen as the Grand Marshal of the 26th edition of the “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade Presented by Powers Irish Whiskey and Sponsored by Labatt USA and will lead the procession through the historic streets of the Valley and Old First Ward neighborhoods on Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The Hooley:

Immediately following the parade will be the traditional grand Irish “Hooley” featuring live music by “Emerald Isle” as well as plenty of food and drink.  The “Hooley” runs from 1pm-5pm at the Valley Community Center.

About the Parade:

The 26th Annual “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, March 16th and will kick off at 12 Noon. New groups are welcome to march and can obtain registration forms by calling Lori Overdorf at 716-840-2866 ext. 4. Following the parade there will be grand Irish Hooley at the Valley Center with live Irish music by “Emerald Isle” as well as food and refreshments.

To Find Out More about the Valley’s St. Patrick’s Day Festivities: