Edward A. Bruch, an internationally ranked checker player, died after a brief
illness on August 18 at the age of 95. Born in Buffalo on December 6, 1916,
Edward Bruch grew up on the city's east side. A graduate of Seneca Vocational
High School, he would return to college later in life and earn a bachelor of
arts in history from the University at Buffalo in 1975. Later, in retirement,
he established residency in Amherst.
As a youth, Edward Bruch enjoyed activities at what was then known as Humboldt Park. It was there that he started to play the game of checkers. At the age of 20, he won first place in a checker tournament sponsored by Buffalo's Polish daily newspaper, the Dziennik dla Wyzystkich. Then in 1938, Edward Bruch became Buffalo City Champion in a tournament sponsored by The Courier Express and the Buffalo Recreation Department. This victory helped to prepare him for the 1939 national championship tournament in Flint, Michigan, where he earned an 8th place finish. For parts of nine decades, from the 1930's through the current decade, Edward Bruch played competitive checkers. His best standing occurred in 1976, when he finished in second place at the United States Open Tournament. In 1989, he represented the United States at an international competition in Great Britain. As recently as 2008, he declined an invitation to again represent the United States at a competition in the People's Republic of China. A life member of the American Checker Federation, he was a frequent winner of the Canadian Open Checker Tournament and was the current New York State Checker Champion.
A veteran of World War II, Edward Bruch served as a member of the Army Weather Corps. He spent most of the war at Dawson Creek in British Columbia, where he worked to establish and maintain a key weather station along the Alaskan Highway. Proud of his military career, Edward Bruch was active in veteran activities for many years, and was a member of the A. J. Jurek Post of the American Legion.
Returning to Buffalo after completing his military service, Edward Bruch
accepted an appointment to the Buffalo Police Department and eventually earned
the rank of Lieutenant. After more than thirty years of distinguished service
to the police department, he retired in 1979.
Edward Bruch was active in Polish affairs throughout his entire life. A member of the Polish Union of America, he served for more than twenty years as lodge secretary for St. Joseph Society, Branch 225 of the Polish Union, and was twice a delegate to the Polish Union's National Convention. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Polish Community Center in 1979, and served one term as treasurer of that organization. In 2010, the General Pulaski Association of Western New York honored Edward Bruch as one of Polonia's outstanding senior citizens. With his wife Victoria, Edward Bruch was a member of St. John Gualbert's Parish for more than fifty years.
A life-long Democrat, Edward Bruch was a member of the Amherst Democratic Committee at the time of his death, and was honored to serve as treasurer for his daughter, Dr. Deborah Bruch Bucki, in each of her campaigns for Amherst Town Board and Amherst Town Clerk. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his son-in-law, United States Bankruptcy Judge Carl L. Bucki, and by his grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Craig and Kathleen Bucki. [Ed Bruch's Obiturary posted from Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home, East Amherst, NY]
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