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Raymond J. Stiefler, construction worker Nov. 15, 1924 -- Sept. 23, 2005

Raymond J. Stiefler of Blasdell, a self-employed construction worker, died Friday at his home after a long illness. He was 80.

A lifelong resident of Blasdell, Mr. Stiefler was a veteran of World War II, having served as a technician in the Army's 463rd Parachute Artillery Battalion. Shortly after the D-Day invasion, he participated in the largest airborne drop made behind enemy lines, in France, jumping out of a glider. Many of his fellow soldiers did not survive, members of his family said.

Mr. Stiefler began his career in the construction industry after the war, working for his own RJS Construction Co. and for Blasdell Lumber Co.

His wife, Evelyn Wagner Stiefler, died in 2003.

Surviving are three daughters, Gail S. Kelly of Blasdell, Jill Holla of Cornwall, Ont., and Diane L. of Blasdell; a son, Dan D. of Blasdell; two brothers, William R. of West Valley and David C. of Blasdell; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Services were held today in Blasdell Gospel Chapel. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery, Orchard Park.

[h/jones]

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