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Stephen J. Koss, 83, retired general manager of Wonder Bread and a decorated World War II veteran, died Thursday (Sept. 16, 1999) in his Swormville home after a long illness.

During World War II, he was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces Flying Tigers and piloted B-24s. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

An Akron native, Koss started working for Hall Baking Co. as a route driver as a teen-ager. Eventually, he became general manager. He became general manager of Wonder Bread after Hall closed. He retired in 1978.

Koss then held various part-time jobs until ill health forced his permanent retirement at age 79.

He was a member of A.J. Jurek Post, American Legion, and the Holy Name Society of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Swormville. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus.

Koss enjoyed tending his extensive garden and spending time with his 23 grandchildren.

He was the widower of Eleanor M. Smith Koss.

Three of his sons are police officers: Lancaster Police Officer Andrew of Lancaster, Amherst Police Officer John of East Amherst and State Police Capt. Mark of Clarence.

Other survivors include two daughters, Karen Lewandowski of Lockport and Kathleen Smith of Solon, Ohio; four sons, Stephen Jr. of Pontiac, Mich., Jeffrey of Hamburg, Christopher of Clarence and Thomas of East Amherst; two brothers, John and Joseph, both of Akron; and 23 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Mary's Church, 6919 Transit Road, Swormville. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.


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