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William N. Godin, hospital crib manufacturer

Dec. 4, 1936 – Dec. 26, 2015

William N. Godin, the owner and chairman of Hard Manufacturing and active in the Buffalo community for many years, died Saturday in his Amherst home after a long battle with memory loss. He was 79.

Born in New York, Mr. Godin moved to Buffalo in 1964. He was a graduate of A.B. Davis High School in Mount Vernon and Lehigh College in Bethlehem, Pa., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Mr. Godin also earned a master’s degree in business and Ph.D. in accounting from the University at Buffalo.

For the past 35 years, Mr. Godin headed Hard, the Grider Street manufacturer of hospital cribs used worldwide. The company is currently run by a daughter, Marjorie Bryen.

Before purchasing Hard, Mr. Godin was vice president of finance for Moog Inc., East Aurora, and an adjunct professor of business for the University at Buffalo.

In 1978, he was campaign general chairman for the United Way, breaking records for money raised. During the 1970s, Mr. Godin served as president of the Studio Arena Theater in an era that offered plays that pushed artistic boundaries, including performances considered avant-garde.

Active in the Jewish community and serving on several boards, Mr. Godin also was a supporter in the rebuilding of Mount Olive Baptist Church, which is in the same Delavan neighborhood as Hard.

Mr. Godin was married for 40 years to the former Lenore Leinwand, who died in 1999. His second wife, Jane Cole, died in 2013.

Survivors include another daughter, Emily Epstein; a son, Seth; a sister, Suzanne Rothenberg; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Amherst Memorial Chapel Inc., 281 Dodge Road, Getzville.

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