Deacon Daniel H. Mackowiak, a permanent deacon at Infant of Prague Parish in Cheektowaga and a Niagara Catholic High School teacher, died Feb. 7, 2017, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, at age 65.
He was born Jan. 9, 1952, in Dunkirk, and graduated from Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk in 1970. He took classes at Villa Maria College in Buffalo before receiving a bachelor's degree in education from Daemen College in Amherst. He went on to obtain a master's degree in biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as certification as a superintendent and school administrator.
Early in his career, Deacon Mackowiak was executive director of the diocesan Catholic Youth Organization, where he was an active participant until his death. He was also principal of All Saints School in Buffalo and St. Mary of the Lake School in Hamburg, as well as a religion and science teacher. Deacon Mackowiak also served as a campus minister at Southtowns Catholic School in Lake View.
After his ordination to the diaconate, Deacon Mackowiak served as St. Hyacinth Parish in Dunkirk, after which he was assigned to Infant of Prague. He served as director of religious education at the latter.
At the time of his death, he had been serving for 13 years as a biology and science teacher at Niagara Catholic High School in Niagara Falls. In addition to teaching classes, he was a campus minister and faculty advisor of several student organizations and co-hosted a Catholic TV show, "Puppet Time Theatre."
He briefly lived in Eden before moving to Cheektowaga several years before his death. For his service to Catholic education in the diocese, he received the Lighting the Fire for Catholic Education award. He was also a Knight of Columbus and a 4-H leader.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Francine A. (née Marchinda); his children, Michelle (Frank) Bogdan and Aaron (Jill) and Kristin Mackowiak; and five grandchildren, Brooklynn, Cameron, Lillie, Avery and Carson.
A funeral Mass was held at Infant of Prague Church in Cheektowaga.