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William H. Birkmayr, sportsman, business owner

May 7, 1926 – July 26, 2015

William Howe Birkmayr, retired owner of Hubbs & Howe and an excellent sportsman, died Sunday at his Williamsville home. He was 89.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from The University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1943 and Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., in 1948, where he was inducted into its Sports Hall of Fame for starting the first intercollegiate golf team.

As a youth, Mr. Birkmayr worked at Hubbs & Howe Company Inc., a paper and twine company in Cheektowaga that his grandfather had started in 1957. He later became owner and served as vice president and chairman of the board. He retired in the mid-1990s.

Mr. Birkmayr was an all-around sportsman. As recalled by his family, he had been asked to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher and was offered a sponsorship by sporting goods company Spalding if he turned pro in golf. He was a member of the Country Club of Buffalo, where he won multiple golf championships, and was an avid bowler.

He was a second-degree mason and a lover of animals who kept treats near his chair outside to feed the neighborhood dogs.

His wife of 21 years, the former Lois Murray, died in 1982. Survivors include two daughters, Meredith Metcalf and Elizabeth Birkmayr; two grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.

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