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Richard J. Adelman, engineer, artist, athlete March 23, 1939 -- Feb. 8, 2006

Richard J. Adelman, an engineer and artist, died Wednesday in his Amherst home after a brief illness. He was 66.

He helped develop heat-related products and solutions for various industries, from mining to manufacturing. He was the developer of FoodPac, the warm food transportation case used by Meals on Wheels.

Recognized nationally as a pioneer and visionary in ceramics and kiln design, he was a master mold-maker, an accomplished painter and sculptor who exhibited at many shows and galleries and was considered an expert in ceramic engineering.

As an accomplished fourth-degree black belt in karate and a judo Olympic hopeful, Mr. Adelman taught students from Florida to New York, as well as law enforcement and military organizations, in self-discipline, self-defense and the art of karate.

He was a jazz musician who played drums with many bands, including the Buddy Rich Band, and appeared on the "Ted Mack Amateur Hour." He also loved to play the guitar, piano and harmonica and wrote arrangements for those instruments.

In the 1980s, he co-founded Hakoa, the Jewish Community Center soccer team, which he coached for many years. He was a member of the Western New York Soccer Referees Association and a league official.

Mr. Adelman also enjoyed scuba diving, lifting weights, hiking and fishing and was known for his wisteria and oriental garden.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Susan R.; a son, Deny H. of Lancaster; a daughter, Alyson L. Adelman Wells of Los Angeles; and two sisters, Constance Hickey of Pittsburgh and Joyce Schmaus of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Services were held today in Temple Beth Zion. Burial was in Forest Lawn.

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