Wayne R. Reilly, retired Danforth Co. chairman - The Buffalo News

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Wayne R. Reilly, retired Danforth Co. chairman

Nov. 7, 1928 – July 14, 2014

Wayne R. Reilly, of Buffalo, retired chairman of the mechanical contracting firm John W. Danforth Co., died Monday in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 85.

He joined the company in 1955 as a job site clerk and served as an estimator, project manager and treasurer before becoming vice president in 1965. He was named president in 1978 and chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1993. Currently, one of his sons, Patrick, is president, and another son, Kevin “Duke,” is chairman and CEO.

As president, Mr. Reilly oversaw Danforth’s acquisition of mechanical services companies in Rochester and Syracuse, and an expansion of its services, beginning with its role in the cleanup of Love Canal.

Company revenues more than tripled during his tenure.

He was a past president of the WNY Mechanical Contractors Association and was chairman of its negotiating committee.

He was active in the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and took part in study missions to China, South Africa, Israel and several European countries.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Reilly was a 1947 graduate of Bennett High School, attended Canisius College and served as an Army Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division.

He was a member of the Buffalo Club, the Country Club of Buffalo, the Cherry Hill Club, the Tower Club, the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Equality Club.

Mr. Reilly was active in Canisius College, Catholic Charities and the United Way, where he was chief fundraiser in the construction community.

He also was a member of the board of directors of D’Youville College and past president of the Bennett Alumni Association.

He maintained homes in Pompano Beach, Fla., and Crescent Beach, Ont.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Helen Cardina; four sons, Dennis J., Kevin G. “Duke,” Patrick J. and Neil; and eight grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Margaret Catholic Church, 1395 Hertel Ave.

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