Norris W. Pace Sr., a civil engineer and longtime plant manager of a Lancaster concrete piping company, died Sunday at home in West Seneca under hospice care after a battle with cancer. He was 72.
Mr. Pace was born in Trenton, Mo., and grew up there and in Decatur, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He graduated from Lima Central High School and attended Ohio Northern University for two years before joining the U.S. Army in 1956 and serving as a cryptanalyst in the Signal Corps for two years. He returned to Ohio Northern afterward and received a degree in engineering in 1961. He was a licensed professional engineer in both Ohio and New York.
He married India Sue Pfeifer in 1960.
After graduating from college, he went to work as an engineer for Price Brothers Co., a concrete pipe manufacturing firm in Dayton, Ohio. He transferred to help build a plant in St. Louis in 1964 and, in late 1966, transferred to manage the Price Brothers plant in Lancaster.
In 1971, the plant became K&S Contractors Supply Co.
The company manufactured concrete pipes and culverts but sold all types of other water works equipment from companies around the world.
"A lot of water lines and fire hydrants you see in Western New York . . . came out of their business," said his son, Norris W. Jr., of Edinboro, Pa.
Mr. Pace was a former Boy Scout leader and an active member of Ebenezer United Church of Christ in West Seneca.
"My dad was an encourager," his son said. "He encouraged people to strive and do the things they wanted to do. Whatever you wanted to do, be good at it. That's what he was about."
He was an avid hunter and traveler. He enjoyed trips to Europe, particularly later in life.
Survivors include his wife; two sons, Norris W. Jr. and Keith R.; and a daughter, Melinda "Mindy" Irons.
A service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 630 Main St., West Seneca.