Mel Ginter passes away

Thursday February 2nd, 2012

Mel Ginter, founder and father of one of the country's largest and longest lasting tournaments, passed away last week.

Born in 1929 in Pennsylvania, Ginter earned his black belt from the Kodokan in Japan in 1954.  He founded the Judo-No-Kata club in the Buffalo area of New York in June 1968 and the very popular Am-Can International Judo Tournament, which is about to celebrate its 40th year.

He passed on January 27th, 2012.

Jim Hrbek, head of USA Judo's Junior Athlete Development Committee said "Mel was fair, kind, generous, honest and a true fan of Judo."

For years, the Am-Can maintained its stature as the largest tournament in North America, attended by more than 900 competitors for several years in a row.  "The Am-Can ran eight mat areas, and had the best trophies, bar none, of any regular tournament" Hrbek said.

A celebration of Ginter's life is planned on February 10th, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Lester H. Wedekindt Funeral Home, 3290 Delaware Ave., Kenmore NY.

On Saturday, February 11th at 10 a.m. a memorial service is planned at the Wedekindt Home, followed by a brief gathering at the cemetary and a brunch provided by the family.  If you are able to join the family for brunch, please contact Richard Nowak at with your name and the number attending so the family can plan accordingly.  Flowers are gratefully declined.  The family requests that in lieu donations be made to fund for scholarships to Judo camp.

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