Gordon H. Soderholm of West Seneca, a retired Erie Community College professor who was also the Town of Orchard Park's first town engineer, died Friday in Mercy Hospital following a long illness. He was 71.
A native of Buffalo, he attended Buffalo Public Schools and graduated from Technical High School, where he played many sports, attaining All-High honors in football.
He began his college career at Valparaiso University in Indiana on a football scholarship, playing on undefeated teams with Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston. Interrupting college to serve in the Army during the Korean War, he returned to Valparaiso afterward, earning a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.
He worked as a structural engineer for local engineering firms before becoming the first town engineer of Orchard Park. He then began his own engineering consulting firm, Soderholm Engineering, which he operated for 35 years.
He was licensed to practice as a professional engineer in more than 15 states.
He also was a professor of civil engineering technology at Erie Community College North for more than 28 years, retiring in 2000.
He was an active member of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Depew, where he worked on many of its building projects. He was also a Buffalo Sabres fan.
He is survived by his life companion, Beverly Colby; three sons, Gordon M. of Orchard Park, and Dale A. and Lloyd E., both of West Seneca; a daughter, Dawn C. of Buffalo; their mother, Ardath C. Soderholm of West Seneca; and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 1025 Borden Road, Depew. Burial will be in St. John's Cemetery, West Seneca.