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Joseph F. Wandyez, Water Authority administrator ; March 15, 1926 -- June 21, 2010

Joseph F. Wandyez, administrative director of the Erie County Water Authority during its period of greatest growth, died Monday in his Clarence home after a brief illness. He was 84.

During his 35-year tenure as the Water Authority's top-ranked employee, it built two water treatment plants and numerous pumping stations to serve many municipalities, as well as the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst. Water capacity expanded from 12 million gallons per day to 150 million gallons. He retired in 1990.

Mr. Wandyez was a founder of the Western New York Water Works Conference, which provides technical training to more than 600 members of the water industry.

He was a life member of the National American Water Works Association, serving on many committees that developed regulations to improve water treatment in the United States and Canada. He also was instrumental in developing an international commission on water treatment in the Great Lakes.

The American Public Works Association of Western New York honored him with its Local Government Service Award in 1990.

Born in North Tonawanda, he served in the Navy during World War II with an underwater demolition team aboard the USS Hollis in the Pacific.

He played football for Niagara University, the University of Detroit and Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1952.

A Clarence resident for more than 50 years, he lived in a house he built for himself. He was known to his neighbors as a friend to animals who fed birds and deer. An avid fisherman, he fished in Alaska, New England, the Finger Lakes and Baja California.

Surviving are his wife of 58 years, the former Diana Wheelock; a son, Bruce; two daughters, Susan Tramont and Wendy; a brother, Frank J. Wandyes; and a sister, Sophieanne Kuligoski.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 8500 Main St., Clarence.


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