William V. Freer, a former teacher and tool designer, died Saturday in Williamsville View Manor Nursing Home, Williamsville, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 88.
Mr. Freer was born in Amsterdam and graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial arts from Buffalo State Teachers College, where he lettered in track. A longtime resident of Amherst, he returned to school to receive a master's degree in educational administration from Canisius College at age 58, graduating the same year as his son, Michael of Grand Island.
He was an automotive and then aeronautical tool designer, working as a subcontractor for leading aviation companies -- including Bell, Grumman and Douglas.
Mr. Freer taught mechanical drafting at Burgard Vocational High School during World War II and then at McKinley Vocational High School, when he was treasurer of what was then the Buffalo Teachers Union.
He returned to his subcontracting business and worked around the country before retuning to Buffalo in 1955. He then taught machine design at Hutchinson Central Technical High School for 33 years, retiring in 1988. He also taught at Erie Community College and the University at Buffalo, and was a union carpenter on the Niagara Power Project. He later worked as a real estate agent.
In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 64 years, the former Catherine Smith of Amherst; two sisters, Helen and Irene, both of Amsterdam; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Dengler-Roberts Funeral Home, 3000 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.