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William Kijewski, WWII veteran, autoworker

Jan. 10, 1926 – May 14, 2016

William Kijewski, of Getzville, an autoworker and World War II veteran, died Saturday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 90.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1944 graduate of Emerson High School, where he won the Bakers Award and the Track and Field Award.

He enlisted in the Army, the youngest of three brothers serving in World War II, and was stationed in Germany during the final months of the war.

He was pulled from the ranks when his eldest brother, Henry, who was serving in the Navy, went missing on a mission in Chesapeake Bay and was presumed dead.

Earlier, his other brother, Norman, had been killed by machine gun fire while attempting to save a fellow Marine on Saipan Island in the Pacific. Because he was the sole surviving son, his overseas service was ended and he was sent back stateside, where he spent the remainder of his enlistment as a small arms trainer at West Point.

Returning from service, Mr. Kijewski took a job as a tool setter at the Chevrolet plant on East Delavan Avenue. He retired in 1981.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, the former Beverly Hill; two sons, Norman and Glenn; a sister, Dorothy Balbuzoski; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1700 North French Road, Getzville.