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EDWARD LETCHWORTH JR., BANKER, NATURALIST

A memorial service for Edward H. Letchworth Jr., 81, a retired banker and active naturalist, will be conducted at 4 p.m. Thursday in St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church, Colonial Circle. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.

Letchworth, 81, died Sunday (Jan. 21, 1990) in Buffalo General Hospital after a short illness.

A native of Buffalo, Letchworth attended Park and Nichols schools. He graduated from Williams College in 1931 and from Harvard Business School in 1934, then began his lengthy career with Marine Midland Bank. He retired in the mid-1970s.

From 1941 to 1945, he served in the U.S. Army's 209th Anti-Aircraft Regiment.

Letchworth was the great-great-nephew of William Pryor Letchworth, who gave the land for Letchworth State Park in Wyoming and Livingston counties, and shared an interest in nature.

"He loved the out-of-doors and wildlife," said his wife, Jane. "He was very active in trying to maintain the park."

As recently as December 1987, he joined Assemblyman William B. Hoyt, D-Buffalo, in forming the Letchworth Preservation Alliance, aimed at stopping a $48 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to dam the Genesee River and flood part of the park.

The effort was successful. Last November, President Bush signed a bill barring further construction in the river basin.

The park, which features a 17-mile gorge, is referred to as "the Grand Canyon of the East."

Letchworth's father started the Buffalo branch of the English Speaking Union, an organization of Anglophiles, and Letchworth was "very active" in that group and in the Sons of the American Revolution, Mrs. Letchworth said.

For 40 years, Letchworth spent his summers in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., where he played golf and rode horses.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Ann Huntington of Sudborough, England; a brother, George C. of Brevard, N.C., and two grandchildren.

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