BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Former president of Buffalo’s NAACP chapter, Frank Mesiah has died at 89.
Mesiah was a long-time educator and served as a member on ECMC’s Board of Directors.
Western New York leaders are mourning the loss of Frank Mesiah. He’s someone they’re calling a “Buffalo icon.”
“He’s going to be missed in our community,” said Rev. Mark Blue, current president of the Buffalo branch of the NAACP.
News of Frank Mesiah’s death at the age of 89 has sent shockwaves through the city Saturday.
“It’s like an honor to have had the opportunity to know him. To have a man who has lived through some of the most bitter periods in American history and especially when it deals with race relations and civil rights and he didn’t become bitter he became better. He wanted people to become better,” said Pastor Darius Pridgen.
“He fought discrimination very passionately working with diverse members of the community to make Buffalo and western New York a better place for all of us,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
Buffalo leaders say Mesiah found so much joy in serving others. The former army veteran held dozens of positions from buffalo police officer to educator. He’s taught at both the elementary and collegiate level. He was a member of the e-c-m-c board of directors and former president of the Buffalo NAACP “When people say you have huge shoes to fill I say well I’m going to fill those shoes and I have some tissues to stick in them. No one can ever fill his shoes,” said Rev. Blue.
Those who knew and worked with Mesiah say he was more than the positions he filled.
“A great father, a great husband a great Buffalonian,” said Pridgen.
And he taught many leaders many lessons.
“If you’re going to open your mouth to speak have something significant to say. He didn’t just open up his mouth to talk of what came to the top of his head. He would think it through,” said Pridgen.
“He leaves a long legacy that can not be tarnished at all,” said Rev. Blue.
Reverend Blue says the NAACP is moving its offices into a new building soon. He says he’d like to dedicate that space to Frank Mesiah. Mayor Brown says he believes there will also be other memorials created in the city.
His family is asking for privacy.
Here are his funeral arrangements:
Wake: May 11, 5-7:30 p.m. and May 12 from 10-11 a.m.
Funeral: May 12, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
St. John Baptist Church
184 Goodell St., Buffalo