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APRIL 7, 1919 -- NOV. 11, 2004

Francis E. Chatley, a retired automobile plant foreman and a veteran of World War II, died Thursday in Erie County Medical Center after a long illness. He was 85.

Born in Hamburg, he attended SS. Peter & Paul Elementary School and Hamburg High School, as well as Buffalo's Technical High School for carpentry and the New York State Institute of Photography.

In 1937, he became a test range supervisor and group leader at Buffalo Arms Corp., where he remained for 2 1/2 years. He also was a milkman for Quinby Dairy in Hamburg.

During the war, he was a weapons mechanic for the Army's 254th Infantry Regiment. He was wounded three times while serving in France and Germany, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

He returned to work for the Ford Assembly Plant in Woodlawn and in 1955 was transferred to the Ford assembly plant in Vermilion, Ohio, where he was an assembler and a foreman. After he retired in 1982, he returned to live in Elma.

His wife, the former Mary Clara Fatnan, died in 1990. The couple had two children.

His second wife, the former Ruth Mae Foster, died in 1998.

Mr. Chatley was a member of Vermilion Post 7576, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Post 22, AMVETS, also in Vermilion; and the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Eagles in Huron, Ohio. He also had his FCC amateur radio and television license and enjoyed fishing, hunting, ham radio and taking wedding photographs.

Surviving are a daughter, Karen I. Bennett of Elma; three brothers, George of Florida and Ira and Walter, both of Hamburg; four sisters, Ella Reger, Agnes Kierloff and Shirley Schumer, all of Hamburg, and Isabelle Schoetz of Lake View; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Services were scheduled this morning in Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels, West Seneca, with burial in Maple Grove Cemetery in Ohio.


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