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William D. Chamberlin, youth hockey leader

Oct. 12, 1947 – March 10, 2016

William D. Chamberlin, of Buffalo, a pioneer in youth hockey locally, died March 10 in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a brief illness. He was 68.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1965 graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School and attended Erie Community College and Buffalo State College. He served in the Army stateside as a medic during the Vietnam War.

A hockey player as a boy, he was member of the Buffalo Regals municipal league team that won 42 straight games, beginning in 1965, and took two straight championship titles. He was elected secretary of the Buffalo Municipal Hockey League in 1966.

Mr. Chamberlin went on to oversee hockey facilities and provide equipment and support, enabling thousands of youngsters to play the game. He started the youth hockey program at the Front Park ice rink in the early 1970s and went on to work and coach at the rink in Riverside Park in the 1980s.

He won numerous awards. He was inducted onto the Bud Bakewell Wall of Fame at Riverside Rink in 1991 and was honored for his contributions to amateur hockey with the J. Michael Duffett Memorial Award by the Buffalo Sabres in 2002. The Bud Bakewell Hockey Association, where he served as director of hockey operations, recognized him for more than 20 years of service. He twice received the Ross Cutler Memorial Award.

He began with the City of Buffalo Parks Department as a seasonal worker at the Front Park rink while he was in high school and became a full-time employee in the early 1970s, maintaining baseball diamonds and ice rinks. He retired in 2002.

Survivors include a son, Andrew M.; a brother, Daniel M.; a sister, Phyllis C. Derrico; his former wife, Linda Hutton; and a granddaughter.

A memorial celebration is planned from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 16 in the Bud Bakewell-Riverside rink in Riverside Park. There will be open skating and pond hockey.

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