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Richard L. Friedman, witnessed Japanese surrender in WWII July 31, 1927 -- April 10, 2007

Richard L. Friedman of Depew, who witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender treaty ending World War II, died Tuesday in St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga. He was 79.

Mr. Friedman served in the Navy during the war aboard the USS Independence. From his ship, he witnessed the signing of the treaty ending the war, which took place on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Later, he took part in the postwar cleanup, picking up troops from various islands in the Pacific.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of McKinley High School. Returning from service, he worked for a while as a butcher and attended electrical trade school.

Becoming an electrician, he worked for Buffalo Electric and Stearns Electric before joining Ferguson Electric, from which he retired in 1989. He was a member of Local 41, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, for more than 50 years.

A resident of the East Lovejoy neighborhood before moving to Depew in 1979, he was active in Francis J. Donovan Post 1626, American Legion, for 56 years. He also was a member of Harvey Morin Post 2940, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Buddy Knaus Post 14, AMVETS; and the Sampson World War II Navy Veterans.

Surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Mary Lou Isch; two daughters, Kathie Laug and Patricia Hastreiter; and a sister, Gloria Seamon.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Pacer Funeral Home, 2275 George Urban Blvd., Depew.

[ANDERSON]

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