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William A. Wutz Jr., volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years April 3, 1916 -- Nov. 4, 2007

William A. Wutz Jr. was a devoted volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years.

Formerly of Williamsville, Mr. Wutz died Sunday in the Firemen's Home at Hudson, where he had been a resident since 2004. He was 91.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from East High School in the 1930s and then attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on a football scholarship. He served in the Army during World War II and was stationed in the Pacific.

In 1948, Mr. Wutz joined Hutchinson Hose Fire Company in Williamsville, continuing as a volunteer firefighter for the next five decades. He also was a member of the Erie County Fire Chiefs, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

In 1998, Mr. Wutz became the first firefighter from Western New York to be named "Firefighter of the Year" by the National Volunteer Fire Council in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Wutz taught fire science and methods for 37 years, primarily at Erie Community College South Campus. He also worked for Industrial Tool Sales, an East Aurora company that sold precision tools manufactured for the aerospace industry.

He had been active for many years in Williamsville government, having served as chairman of the village Planning Board.

Mr. Wutz also coached American Legion baseball and was a member of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame.

His wife, Evelyn G. Higgens Wutz, died in the 1990s.

He is survived by three sons, William A. III, Michael P. and Thomas J.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville.

[MCNEIL]

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