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Orville F. Weiss Jr., Ford stamping plant supervisor; Dec. 6, 1929 -- April 23, 2012

Orville Ferdinand Weiss Jr., a longtime Depew resident who worked for 30 years at Ford Motor Co.'s Buffalo Stamping Plant in the Town of Hamburg, including as a supervisor, and was active in many ways in his Catholic parish, died Monday at Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 82.

A Buffalo native, Mr. Weiss graduated from Kensington High School. He served in the Army during the Korean War, earning the rank of corporal.

Mr. Weiss began his career as an apprentice machinist for the New York Central Railroad. Shortly after, he was hired at the Ford stamping plant, where he started on the shop floor and, over three decades of work, rose to the position of supervisor.

Mr. Weiss retired in 1980 when, at age 50, he learned he had leukemia. He survived that as well as later bouts of spinal meningitis, kidney cancer, and throat and mouth cancer. His death was due to congestive heart failure, his family said.

Mr.. Weiss was married to the former Arlene Stuhler, a Buffalo native. They met on a blind date arranged by their sisters -- at age 15 -- and were wed in St. Lawrence Church in the city. A devout Catholic, he was very active in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Depew, which became St. Martha's Church after a merger. Mr. Weiss served as a lector, pre-Cana leader, Mass server for funerals, choir member, nocturnal Eucharistic Adoration participant, Parish Council member and Rosary Group member. He served as president of the parish's Holy Name Society and chairman of its Catholic Charities Appeal, as well as chairman of various church fundraisers, including the lawn fete.

Mr. Weiss was the recipient of the church's Man of the Year Award and the Peter Chiavilli Award, which he shared with his wife.

He also was a volunteer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

In addition, he was known for playing Santa Claus at various local schools and nursing homes.

Mr. Weiss enjoyed traveling, playing cards and playing golf with friends.

In addition to his wife of 61 years, he is survived by four sons, Robert, William, Paul and James; three daughters, Karen Bortolin, Kathleen Zawadzki and Mary Beth; and two sisters, Marion Michael and Anne Yaeger.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Martha's Church, 10 French Road, Depew.

[C/VOGEL]