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Norman Fertig, veteran, ran wildlife sanctuary
; April 18, 1925 -- Jan. 11, 2011

Norman Fertig, Ph.D., a World War II Army veteran who ran the Enchanted Forest Wildlife Sanctuary and rehabilitation center in Alden, died Tuesday in St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga. He was 85.

Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., he was raised in New York City. Dr. Fertig attended New York University, Columbia University, Buffalo State College and the University of Buffalo. He taught at Nahah University in Okinawa after the end of World War II.

A psychologist, Dr. Fertig and the former Eve Cohen were married on Aug. 9, 1944. The couple and their late son, Lance, operated the Enchanted Forest Wildlife Sanctuary, rescuing injured and orphaned animals in the wild.

During the surprise October 2006 snowstorm, the couple was rescued by Shana, their 160-pound dog, a German shepherd-timberwolf mix, after a fallen tree trapped them outside their home. Shana dug a tunnel under the massive tree and led them to safety.

Dr. Fertig was a member of the National Mustang Association and Wolf Sanctuary and was a life member of the SPCA Serving Erie County. He also was a member of the Alden School Board, Temple Beth Am and several counseling organizations.

Survivors in addition to his wife include a daughter, Dr. Terri Eisler.

Services were held Friday.

[mcneil]

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