Jack Ehmke, 86, a World War II veteran who spent much of his life in Angola helping others learn its history, died Thursday in Lake Shore Hospital, Irving, after a brief illness.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in First Congregational United Church of Christ, 135 Main St., Angola, a church he served as honorary deacon.
Born in Angola, he graduated from Angola High School in 1937 and went to work for the post office, where he was a city and rural carrier for 41 years.
He married Jane Kissinger in 1942 while in the Army and then went overseas to the European Theater, serving as a first sergeant with a hospital company in England, Wales, France and Belgium.
After he returned to Angola, he set about honoring the area's history. He was president of the Evans Historical Society for more than 20 years and was instrumental in establishing its museum on Route 5.
Mr. Ehmke became heartbroken in August when he learned thieves had made off with a number of museum items, including the medals from a serviceman killed during the Vietnam War and his own helmet from World War II. His wife said Saturday the items are still missing.
He was director of the Town of Evans sesquicentennial celebration and co-chairman of Angola's centennial celebration. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce and was honored by the Lake Shore Central Alumni Association.
He was a committee member of the Angola Park and Gazebo Committee for 25 years, a playing member of the Angola Volunteer Drum Corps, a former Cub Scouts master and a member of Newcomb-Long Post 928, American Legion.
Mr. Ehmke also served as president and secretary of Forest Avenue Cemetery, where he will be buried with military honors.
Besides his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Karen J. George, Katherine M. Allen and Jan L. Pisarski.