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Stephen E. Sattler and Edward W. Sattler Jr., Hamburg brothers who died in snowmobile accident

Stephen Sattler and his brother, Edward Jr., were inseparable. They lived less than two miles from each other in the Town of Hamburg. Family members said they were rarely seen apart.

They repaired and built cars together, most notably an alcohol-burning drag race car with a 1957 Corvette shell on a 1972 Ford Pinto frame. They competed in the Superpro division at Lancaster National Speedway and other tracks until a few years ago.

What the brothers loved even more than drag racing was snowmobiling. They were riding snowmobiles when they broke through thin ice Sunday on Racquette Pond in the Adirondacks and drowned.

Founding members of the Hamburg Snowmobile Club, the pair had ridden since they were boys.

Steve and his wife had a vacation cabin in the Town of Piercefield in St. Lawrence County, between Cranberry and Tupper lakes. He and Ed went there with their snowmobiles last weekend, and their families planned to join them there this week.

The brothers went riding Sunday morning, family members said, stopped for fuel and dropped in at the Trail’s End Tavern just south of Tupper Lake. When they left, they set off in stormy weather.

State police said both encountered thin ice and open water about an eighth of a mile from shore.

Troopers and State Department of Environmental Conservation police and forest rangers started searching for them after a family member reported them missing Sunday evening. Divers recovered their bodies Monday. A Franklin County coroner determined they drowned accidentally.

Stephen E. Sattler was born April 13, 1949, in Lackawanna and was a 1967 graduate of Frontier Central High School. He earned an associate’s degree in forestry science from Wanakena Ranger School.

An aunt who worked at Frontier Central helped him get a job in 1974 as a janitor in the school bus garage. He retired as head mechanic in 2007.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, the former Sharon Gooch; a son, David; two daughters, Laura Coombe and Linda; and two grandchildren.

Edward W. Sattler Jr. was born Aug. 12, 1953, in Lackawanna. Also a graduate of Frontier Central, he worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp., then was a crane operator at Hanna Furnace Corp. from 1972 to 1983. He then became a pressman for Newtown CPC. He retired as lead pressman in 2015.

Survivors include his wife of 38 years, the former Betty Ventre; and two sons, Robert E. and Ryan T.

A memorial celebration for both men will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in Strikers Lanes, 50 Michael Road, West Seneca.

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