Feb. 20, 1924 – May 25, 2014
Jerry Raiken, a World War II veteran who served as a radio operator aboard a military transport plane, died Sunday in his Amherst home. He was 90.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Raiken graduated from Hutchinson-Central High School when he was 16. Growing up, he helped his father sell produce from a cart, worked as an usher at the Lafayette Theater, sold women’s shoes at Hengerer’s Department Store and worked at Curtiss-Wright before enlisting in the Army in 1943.
Mr. Raiken was a staff sergeant in the 125th Army Air Forces Base Unit. A radio operator, he flew on a C-47 and almost circumnavigated the world during his military service.
Even in his last days, Mr. Raiken could tap out SOS in Morse Code.
After the war, he married Gilda Bachner in December 1946.
Mr. Raiken attended the University of Buffalo on the GI Bill and became a certified public accountant.
In 1953, he became a partner at Daniel Joseph and Company, which merged with BDO Siedman.
He retired in 1987.
Mr. Raiken served on the boards of many organizations, including the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society.
In retirement, he went back to college, auditing courses in linguistics, history and music at the University at Buffalo.
In addition to his wife of 67 years, Mr. Raiken is survived by three daughters, Miriam Kolb, Deborah Korn and Hannah Schulman, and four granddaughters.
Services were held Tuesday in Congregation Shir Shalom, Amherst.