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Michael Riccitiello, retired chemical engineer; Sept. 25, 1916 -- Aug. 21, 2011

Michael Riccitiello of Amherst, a chemical engineer who also volunteered at the Erie County Board of Elections and helped senior citizens prepare their tax returns, died Sunday in DeGraff Hospital in North Tonawanda after a short illness. He was 94.

A native of Gloversville, he came to Western New York in 1964 and spent 17 years as a chemical engineer with Spaulding Fibre in North Tonawanda after working for Westinghouse for 20 years in South Carolina and Pennsylvania. He retired in 1981.

After retirement, Mr. Riccitiello helped senior citizens and low-income people prepare their tax returns. He also was a volunteer at the Board of Elections' Amherst polling place from 1990 to 2000.

He was a member of the Kensington Lions Club, Jewish Community Center and St. Leo the Great Church, where he was part of the Young at Heart Club and the Holy Name Society. He audited classes at the University at Buffalo because of his lifelong desire to keep learning.

His wife of 50 years, the former VerNetta Cower, died in 1994.

Survivors include two sons, Michael Jr. and David; three daughters, Amelia Seifert, JoAnn Deuschle and Nancy Pilcher; a brother, Salvatore; and a sister, Clara Ferrara.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Thursday in St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 885 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.

[WATSON]

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