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Robert L. Schrader, former GM supervisor; Dec. 18, 1929 -- June 24, 2011

Robert L. Schrader, of Buffalo, a veteran and former supervisor at the General Motors Power Train Plant in the Town of Tonawanda, died Friday in ElderWood Skilled Nursing Home, Amherst, after a long illness. He was 81.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Schrader graduated from Kensington High School before enlisting in the Army in 1947. A private first class, he served three years in the Army and was stationed in China as a member of the Joint United States Military Advisory Group. He also spent one year in Japan before joining the Navy, where he was stationed at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

A graduate of what is now Erie Community College, Mr. Schrader began his career at the General Motors Power Train Plant after being honorably discharged from the Navy. During his 33-year career, he worked his way to become a plant supervisor. He retired in 1982.

Mr. Schrader was an active member of the Democratic Party, serving as a district committeeman and a zone officer for several years. A member of the Police Citizens Committee, he also served as president of the West Side Community Center.

A longtime resident of the West Side, Mr. Schrader became the president of the West Side Junior Baseball League in 1965. During the three years that he served as president and manager, the league grew from 50 young boys between the ages of 7 and 13 to 500.

His wife of 52 years, Antoinette DiTusa Schrader, died in 2003.

Survivors include three sons, Dennis, Richard and Gerald; a daughter, Diane; and two sisters, Nancy Cooper and Norma Francis.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.