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Jerry Joseph Repetski, professor, Korean War veteran

April 25, 1929 – May 14, 2015

Jerry Joseph Repetski, a longtime resident of Sanborn, retired United States Marine Corps Reserve colonel and college professor, died Thursday at Sterling House of Niagara in North Tonawanda, his residence for the past several years. He was 86.

Born Jaroslaw Repetski in Wheeling, W.Va., he moved to Buffalo with his family in the early 1940s. He attended St. John the Baptist School and studied aviation mechanics at Burgard Vocational High School. He lettered in cross country and track, graduating in 1947. He continued for an additional year of high school at Riverside High School, where he concentrated on math and physics courses.

He went on to study mechanical engineering at the University of Buffalo, where he served as class president and lettered in cross country, track and wrestling. He graduated in 1952.

Mr. Repetski joined the Marine Corps and served in the Korean War as an air intelligence officer with the Marine Fighting Squadron 441 (VMF-441). In 1957, he joined the Marine Corps Reserves and served as an instructor for the Naval Reserve School in Buffalo. He retired in 1982 with the rank of colonel.

In 1955, Mr. Repetski started to teach at the University of Buffalo. During these years, he earned a master’s degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering and received his professional engineering license.

In 1968, he was hired by Niagara County Community College as the first chairman of the newly formed math, physics, chemistry and technology department. He remained in that position until 1982. He retired after 30 years of teaching in 1998.

He served on the board of directors of the Niagara County Extension Center. In his retirement, he became a master gardener through a program offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. He spent several years lecturing and visiting nurseries and greenhouses. For several years he was a judge of the vegetable exhibits at the Niagara County Fair. His love of gardening continued during his years at Sterling House.

A longtime member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ransomville, he served as an usher for many years during the Saturday evening Mass.

Mr. Repetski was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Arlene Stabler, who died in 1959 and the former Dorothy Haensly, his wife of 52 years, who died in 2013.

Survivors include two sons, Michael and Edward; two daughters, Jeanne Ashby and Ann Marie; two brothers, Walter and James; two sisters, Barbara Sawdye and Blanche Haid; and six grandchildren;

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 4671 Townline Road, Route 429, Ransomville.

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