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John R. Waple, veteran, longtime court reporter; Sep. 11, 1928 -- June 22, 2011

John R. Waple, Army veteran, longtime court reporter for Erie County Family Court and instructor at Bryant & Stratton College, died Wednesday in Millard Fillmore Hospital. He was 82.

Mr. Waple was born in Lockport but lived the majority of his adult life in Buffalo. A graduate of Lockport High School, he worked as a courier for the Army News in Washington, D.C., before enlisting in the military.

He served in the Army from 1952 to 1954 and was stationed in Berlin during the Korean War. He earned two medals of commendation.

After his military service, Mr. Waple worked briefly in New York City before returning to Western New York to study court stenography. He devoted the remainder of his professional career to the court system in Erie County and to teaching the next generation of court reporters at Bryant & Stratton.

After retiring in 1992, he continued to work as a freelance reporter, mainly in the Lockport area, for another 15 years.

Mr. Waple enjoyed sharing stories with family and friends about his brushes with famous people, including his bit role in the 1954 movie "Night People" -- filmed when he served in the Army and was based in Berlin -- starring Gregory Peck; dancing with Shirley Temple while living in Washington; and tap dancing with Buddy Ebsen in Germany.

Mr. Waple is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Carol Sterbian; and three daughters, Kerry, Katie Andriatch and Jennifer Noga.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 500 Parker Ave.


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