Jan. 3, 1941 - May 17, 2015
Richard A. Olday of Depew, a retired marketing representative for New York State Electric & Gas who hosted a weekly old-time radio show, died Sunday at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a brief illness due to complications from cancer. He was 74.
Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Kensington High School and earned an electrical engineering degree from Erie Community College in 1964.
During his more than 33 years with NYSEG, Mr. Olday worked in Lockport and Lancaster promoting natural gas and electricity usage before retiring in October 2000. As a member and past president of the Western New York Illuminating Engineering Society, outdoor lighting sales were high on his list of duties with the utility company. He was a member of the utilities speaker’s club, where he presented a slide presentation “Here Comes the Oranges”, a history of Buffalo’s old streetcar system, more than 50 times to many local civic and religious groups in Western New York.
Mr. Olday belonged to the Old Time Radio Club and had hosted a weekly show for the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service since 1988. In August 2006, he started a weekly old-time radio show on YesterdayUSA.com on the Internet. He also was president of DO Distributors and belonged to the Electric Railroaders Association and the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
A longtime board member of the Citizens Regional Transit Corp., he promoted the expansion of Buffalo’s Light Rail System. He served on the original citizens group that assisted in obtaining the system for Buffalo.
He also served as president of the Parwood Patio Home Association from 2007 to 2015.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, the former Arlene Lis; two sons, Michael and David; a daughter, Michelle Chan; and six grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, One St. Mary’s Hill, Lancaster.