Clayton A. Stahlka, 98, figure in Western New York advertising

DEC 07, 2021

Clayton A. Stahlka, an award-winning member of Western New York's advertising community, died on Nov. 20, 2021, in the Rosa Copeland Home at the Weinberg Campus. He was 98.

Mr. Stahlka was the founder of an advertising agency in 1958 that grew to include two partners, Al Klenk and Bob Faller. He sold the business in 1974 and continued working in management consulting.

“He was very much a can-do, positive person – and extremely creative,” said Wendy Stahlka of her husband. The couple were married in 1975.

“And he had a great sense of humor as well,” she said.

Mr. Stahlka was a Buffalo native. At the time of his death, he was a resident of Amherst.

His death followed a long illness. “He never lost his clarity or his mind,” his wife said. “His mind was totally clear until the end.”

Mr. Stahlka graduated from Bennett High School. He also graduated from the Albright Art Institute.

During World War II, he served as a sergeant in the Army and combat engineer, including with the forces directed by Gen. George Patton.

Mr. Stahlka's military service lasted a little over three years. Wendy Stahlka said that she “heard great stories, terrific stories" of that time in his life.

“He was proud of his service, but he didn’t wear it like a badge of honor,” she said.

The firm that Mr. Stahlka ran – known as Stahlka, Faller and Klenk – was a creative place, she said. “They weren’t just traditional advertising,” she said.

He got a Silver Medal Award from the American Advertising Federation in 1971. With the Transworld Advertising Agency Network, Mr. Stahlka occupied the role of governor.

His business won awards from organizations including the Niagara Frontier Advertising Association and the Art Director's Club of Buffalo. He also was president of the Niagara Frontier Advertising Group.

When he stopped working, he held the position of president of the Deltran Division of American Precision Industries.

Mr. Stahlka was a Christian. “He had a very very deep, very solid faith,” Wendy Stahlka said of her husband.

And her husband was creative in more than just professional ways, she said.

“He painted everything from paintings to furniture,” she said. “He loved to share them.”

Besides his wife, survivors include a son, Clay; two daughters, Krisann Dabrowski and Ariana Stahlka; and a grandchild.

Services will be held in the spring.