John Forrest Zietlow Jr. of Buffalo, a retired mechanical engineer, died Sunday in the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Cheektowaga. He was 91.
Born in Aberdeen, S.D., he attended South Dakota School of Mines and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.
He was a mechanical engineer with Bell Aeronautical Laboratories during World War II and worked for General Electric Co. in Cincinnati in the 1950s.
A 50-year knight Mason, the most senior knight Mason in the United States, he was a member of Highland-Ely Parker Lodge 835, Free & Accepted Masons. He also was excellent chief of Great Chiefs Council 0.
Mr. Zietlow began summering in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., in the 1950s and bought a cottage there in the early 1960s. One year he sailed a dory he built in his yard in Buffalo to Martha's Vineyard via the Erie Canal, Hudson River and Narragansett Bay.
The father of three, he was a voracious reader and had a keen appreciation of philosophy, turning over every idea carefully, his daughter said.
His wife of 63 years, Frances Armstrong Zietlow, died in 1998.
Surviving are a daughter, Martha Hewitt Zietlow-Bowden of Beverly, Mass., and two grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Trinity Episcopal Church, 371 Delaware Ave., after a Masonic service at 10:45. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.