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Ralph M. Williams, World War II veteran and retired West Seneca teacher

June 27, 1925 – June 12, 2015

Ralph M. Williams, a World War II veteran and retired teacher for the West Seneca School District, died June 12, 2015, while under hospice care in Penney Farms, Fla. He was 89.

Born in Peckville, Pa., Mr. Williams earned a degree in geology from Colgate University. He started out as a sales representative for National Gypsum and then Atlantic Richfield.

After being transferred to Buffalo by Atlantic Richfield, Mr. Williams switched careers. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the Buffalo State College, then taught history and social studies in West Seneca’s two high schools for 30 years, retiring in 1985.

He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving as a chaplain’s assistant in Germany.

A former resident of Hamburg, Mr. Williams moved to Penney Farms, Fla., after his first wife, the former Arline Hopkins, died in 1997.

He then married the former Lila Gaeckle, whom he had met as a teenager while attending a Bible conference in Lime Lake. The couple spent summers in Western New York.

Mr. Williams sang in the men’s church choir in Penney Farms.

Survivors, besides his wife, include a son, Todd; a daughter, Lois Sartori; and a sister, Marilyn Minelli.

Private services were held.