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Frederick J. Debus, Navy Reserve commander ; Jan. 4, 1920 -- Jan. 15, 2011

Frederick John "Jack" Debus, a retired lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve, died Saturday in his Buffalo home under hospice care. He was 91.

Mr. Debus served in the Navy Construction Battalion 3-8 in the Atlantic during World War II, eventually becoming commanding officer. After the war, he served in the Navy Reserve for 40 years, becoming lieutenant commander of the Civil Engineer Corps.

He graduated from the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and went to work at Buffalo Forge Co., where he started emptying garbage cans and worked his way up to become a product manager. He retired in 1985.

He was active with the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, where he won recognition, including the Gold Telephone Award for recruiting new members.

Mr. Debus was a member of the Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo Museum of Science and Destroyer Escort Association, St. Mary's Seminary Fathers Guild and SEE Investment Club. He was also past president of the Credo Club. Since 1985, he was a volunteer at Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Survivors include his wife, the former Mary McBride; five daughters, Cathleen Danner, Cynthia Cohen, Constance McCall, and Ellen and Margaret; and three sons, Terrance, Thomas and John.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in Forest Lawn Chapel.


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