Edward J. Rutkowski of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired Army officer and engineer, died Sunday in the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Cheektowaga, after a long illness. He was 81.
Born in Canebrake, W.Va., he came to Buffalo with his family as an infant and was a 1942 graduate of South Park High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Buffalo in 1950.
He served in the Army stateside during World War II, then went to officer candidate school and served another 26 years in the Army Reserve, attaining the rank of major.
Mr. Rutkowski worked as an engineer for 31 years in National Gypsum Co.'s Research Division in the Town of Tonawanda and held 10 U.S. and foreign
patents. A manager in the construction services department, he retired in 1985.
He was a past president of the Engineering Society of Buffalo and served as chairman of its Scholarship Committee for many years. He also was a past president and longtime member of the Reserve Officers Association.
Mr. Rutkowski was a member of the Retired Officers Association, the Erie-Niagara Military Retiree Council and several other technical and veterans organizations.
He also was an active parishioner at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, where he was a member of the Holy Name Society, the Travel Club and the First Friday Club.
As a volunteer, he helped the elderly prepare their income tax returns for many years.
A sports fan, he enjoyed bowling and was an enthusiastic golfer. He also loved duplicate bridge.
He was honored as a 10-gallon blood donor by the American Red Cross.
He and his wife, the former Roselle Maida, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sept. 3.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Edward S. of Amherst; two daughters, Sharon Koch of Pendleton and Roseanne of the Town of Tonawanda; three sisters, Sophia Lewanski of Marietta, Ga., Alfreda of Cheektowaga and Irene Kolasa of Monroe, Conn.; and five grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. John the Baptist Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda, after prayers at 8:45 in Greco Funeral Home, 2909 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore. Burial, with military honors, will be in Elmlawn Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.