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Hermann Grau, founder and president of Grau Construction

Jan. 29, 1928 – Feb. 5, 2016

Hermann Grau, founder and president of Grau Construction, died Friday in his Williamsville home. He was 88.

Born in Pforzheim, Germany, where he attended both high school and college, Mr. Grau and his wife, the former Ursula Rometsch, immigrated to Canada in 1951, before moving permanently to the U.S. in 1955. They became U.S. citizens in 1966.

Mr. Grau was known for his fine brick and stone work and the custom-built fireplaces that he installed in many of Amherst’s premier homes. He also was active in the Amherst Businessman’s Association.

Upon his retirement in 1989, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, and taught English to young students in Poland, Bulgaria and Belarus through Bridges for Education. Mr. Grau also worked on the restoration of the Frauenkirche in Dresden, Germany. He also was present at the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Mr. Grau enjoyed skiing, drawing, painting and music. He sang with the Lutheran Chorale, Buffalo Schola Cantorum and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, and the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Choir in Williamsville.

In addition, he was an avid chess player who founded chess clubs at the Amherst Senior Center and the Williamsville branch library.

In addition to his wife of 63 years, he is survived by three daughters, Alice, Susan and Evelyn; two sons, Peter and Robert; three brothers, Helmut, Gerhard and Heinz; and four sisters, Gertrude Locher, Waltraut Bauer, Helga Dohla and Kate Pauels.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 68 Eagle St., Williamsville.

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