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Kenneth L. Bermel, volunteer firefighter, veteran June 29, 1946 -- May 3, 2012

Kenneth L. Bermel, an Orchard Park resident, decorated Vietnam veteran and life member of the Windom Volunteer Fire Company, died May 3 in Florida of complications from Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 65.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Bermel graduated from Riverside High School and attended the University at Buffalo. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1969, including two years in Vietnam. For his service, he received a number of military honors, including the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service.

He was later diagnosed with leukemia and ALS, which his family said was linked to his service in Vietnam.

Mr. Bermel moved to Orchard Park and worked for about 20 years as a computer analyst with Peter J. Schmitt in Cheektowaga. He also worked as a dispatcher with the Orchard Park Police Department from 2004 to 2009, when he retired. He moved to Florida in August 2010.

He began service with the Windom Volunteer Fire Company in 1976, eventually becoming first assistant chief and treasurer. He was named a life member in 1991. He was also a life member of the Southwestern Volunteer Firemen's Association and a member of the New York State Association of Chiefs.

He is survived by a brother, Frank P.; and a sister, Mary C. Lewis.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. June 30 in Lombardo Funeral Home, 3060 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.

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