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Robert J. Duerr, phys ed teacher, former principal of School 84; June 5, 1918 -- June 14, 2012

Robert J. Duerr of Clarence, a lifelong educator and former principal of Buffalo School 84, died Thursday of septic shock following spine surgery in Erie County Medical Center. He was 94.

A native of Buffalo, Mr. Duerr graduated from Indiana University in 1941 and taught physical education at School 84 until 1966, when he was appointed project administrator for the Buffalo Teacher Aide and Adult Education programs.

Mr. Duerr was appointed principal of School 84 in 1967 and subsequently led the initiative to build the new School 84. He dedicated his professional life to developing the talents of children with physical challenges.

A specialist in adapted physical education, Mr. Duerr served as an adjunct professor of physical education at the University at Buffalo. He was awarded the University at Buffalo Physical Education Service Award in 1977.

Mr. Duerr was a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa Physical Education Fraternity. He served as president of the Indiana University Alumni Club of Western New York and the Western Zone of the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance.

In retirement, Mr. Duerr served as administrator of the Jesse Ketchum Memorial Fund, which awards medals to Buffalo Public School District elementary students for scholarship.

He also volunteered at the Clarence Senior Center as an IRS income tax associate from 1982 to 1996.

Mr. Duerr and his wife of 68 years, the former Aileen L. Scherer, were avid round and square dancers. They were members of Stylist Squares, Harris Squares and Tu Bi Tu Round Dancers.

Survivors also include a daughter, Dianne; two sons, John and Richard J.; and a brother, Carl.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 8550 Main St., Clarence.

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