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Joseph P. Retton Sr., furnace operator July 8, 1923 -- Jan. 31, 2006

Joseph P. Retton Sr., a former West Virginia coal miner and retired furnace operator, died Tuesday in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 82.

Mr. Retton was born in Monongah, W.Va., and attended schools in West Virginia. He served as a master sergeant in the Army's 330th Infantry Regiment in Europe during World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star.

He worked in the Monongah coal mines until moving to Niagara Falls in 1952. He then worked as a furnace operator at Union Carbide Corp.'s National Division for 30 years, retiring in 1983.

Mr. Retton was a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church. He enjoyed the outdoors and gardening. He also enjoyed bowling and was a Yankees fan.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Ellen Girod; a son, Joseph P. Jr. of Ransomville; a daughter, Karen McAlee of Niagara Falls; a brother, Anthony of Eugene, Ore.; three sisters, Helen Marching of Millville, N.J., Anna Shirripa of Shinnston, W.Va., and Rosalie Carter of Clarksburg, W.Va.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 1 p.m. Friday in Prince of Peace Church, 1065 Military Road. Entombment will be in Rosewood Mausoleum of Forest Lawn, Buffalo.

[N/FISCHER]

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