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Dr. Richard Bettigole, Red Cross medical director Nov. 5, 1932 -- Sept. 23, 2005

Dr. Richard E. Bettigole of Williamsville, retired medical director for the American Red Cross Buffalo Region, died Friday in Buffalo General Hospital following a lengthy illness. He was 72.

Born in New York, he earned a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a medical degree from Columbia University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1958 to 1960.

Dr. Bettigole began his medical career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, where he was an attending physician from 1963 to 1971. He relocated to the Buffalo area, where he became director of the Erie County Medical Center Blood Bank and Hematology Lab, a position he held until 1991.

He also served as Sisters Hospital blood bank director from 1975 to 2003.

Dr. Bettigole served as medical director for Buffalo-area Red Cross blood services operations from 1991 to 1994, and also practiced medicine at Buffalo General from 1995 to 2001.

He was a former officer of the Blood Banks Association of New York State and active with the American Society of Hematology.

A lover of music and the arts, he particularly enjoyed classical music and attending live performances. He was an amateur pianist and an avid theatergoer.

Dr. Bettigole also was a member of Temple Sinai.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, the former Marcia Bernstein; two daughters, Dr. Ellen of Albany and Dr. Cheryl of Philadelphia; a brother, Neal of Upper Saddle River, N.J.; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today in Mesnekoff Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst.

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