A Mass of Christian Burial for Edward F. Ginal, an American Legion official and Kittinger Furniture worker, was offered today in St. Timothy's Catholic Church, Town of Tonawanda, after prayers in Greco Funeral Home, Kenmore. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.
Mr. Ginal of the Town of Tonawanda died Sunday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a long illness. He was 81.
Mr. Ginal was instrumental through the American Legion in the naming of the new William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence on Military Road in honor of the Riverside soldier who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor after giving his life for his commanding officer in the Philippines during World War II.
"I was a senior when Billy was a freshman at Riverside High," Mr. Ginal recalled during the 2000 dedication, trying to hold back the tears. "I'd walk him from LaForce and Hertel to the school every day."
Mr. Ginal retired in 1985 after working for 40 years as a furniture finisher for Kittinger. He was an adult education instructor in furniture finishing at Tonawanda Senior High School for 19 years. He also worked for seven years setting up a similar program at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, helping some of his students become self-supporting.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Ginal attended School 79 and graduated from Riverside High School in 1941. He worked in a defense job at Curtiss-Wright Corp., then served in the U.S. Army Air Corps with the 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron in Europe during World War II.
After half a century of service to veterans, Mr. Ginal was named Legionnaire of the Year in 2000 by the Erie County American Legion. While he was commander of Niagara Frontier Post 1041, from 1961 to 1963, land was purchased at 533 Amherst St. and the post's new home was constructed.
For more than 30 years Mr. Ginal was an officer of the 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron Association, which held its reunion in Buffalo in 1988. He helped families learn about the circumstances of military deaths after the war and was able to locate two of the squadron's warplanes as well as the flight jacket of a glider pilot who died after crashing in Holland.
Mr. Ginal was a past president of Local 39, United Furniture Workers of America.
He was a lector at St. Timothy's and a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic and the Polish Cadets.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Antoinette Bonk; a daughter, Maureen Hurysz of Kenmore; a sister, Viola Sinclair of Williamsville; and a grandson.