Robert I. Hughson Sr., who worked his way up from an entry-level job to become a vice president of sales and marketing for Houdaille Hydraulics, died of heart disease Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 83.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Hughson graduated from Riverside High School and also studied at the University of Buffalo. He moved to Amherst in 1963.
During World War II, he was a member of the 379th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, and was a tail gunner on B-17s, serving in Europe and flying more than 30 missions. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant.
Mr. Hughson, who joined Houdaille in 1947, became a company vice president in the early 1980s and retired in 1987.
He was a Boston Red Sox fan.
Surviving are his wife of 54 years, Joan Funke Hughson; three sons, Robert I. Jr., Douglas J. and Gordon A., all of Amherst; and four grandchildren.
Services will be at 8:30 p.m. today in James E. Grace Funeral Home, 335 Ontario St.