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Theodore Kogut, 78, who flew 52 bombing missions with the Army Air Forces during World War II, died Friday (Sept. 14, 2001) on his family farm in Alden.

Family members said Kogut apparently suffered a heart attack after mowing hay.

He and his wife, the former Ethel Fries, had just watched television coverage of the Washington memorial service for the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

"My mom just found him sitting on his tractor. He'd just finished mowing his field," said Kogut's son, National Guard Lt. Col. Peter Kogut of Farmington, N.H.

A native of Depew, Kogut served as a flight engineer, gunner and combat photographer on B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II, flying 52 missions over Italy and North Africa.

After the war, he worked as a farmer, mechanic, home builder and school bus driver. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting and raising dogs.

He belonged to the Niagara River Club and the Frontier Beagle Club.

In addition to his wife of 55 years and his son, survivors include two daughters, Linda Giaccio of Richmond, N.H., and Rose Georgianna of Ontario, N.Y.

A cremation ceremony will follow a memorial service at 10 a.m. Monday in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead, 4809 S. Newstead Road in Newstead.


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