William Leising of Akron, a retiree of Leica Inc. and longtime volunteer firefighter, died Monday in Millard Fillmore Hospital after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 64.
The Buffalo native grew up in Cheektowaga, graduated from Bishop Fallon High School and attended Erie Community College.
He worked as an engineer and as a purchasing agent for Leica, formerly American Optical, for 42 years, retiring in 2002.
Mr. Leising served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 35 years, first with U-Crest Fire Company in Cheektowaga and later with Akron Fire Company. He attended musters in Michigan, Ontario and downstate New York.
In Akron, he served as correspondence secretary and treasurer and helped computerize the department's operations. He also called bingo there for many years, earning the nickname "Bingo Bill," and was passionate about keeping up the company's antique fire apparatus.
In 1994, while vacationing in Olympic National Park in Washington State, he discovered and put out a roof fire at the historic lodge where he was staying.
Last year, he volunteered with the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in Ocean Springs, Miss.
Mr. Leising and his wife, the former Deborah Jean Fisk, spent many summers at a family cottage in Crystal Beach, Ont. He also enjoyed sailing, photography, gliding and traveling to India, China and Europe.
In addition to his wife of nearly 36 years, survivors include two daughters, Christine of Yonkers and Kara Meyer of Akron; a sister, Elaine Massaro of Chicago; a brother, Thomas of Clarence; and four grandchildren.
Prayers were said today in Amigone Funeral Home, Clarence, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Williamsville.