William G. Mest, of Harris Corners, near Strykersville, who owned and operated a meat packing plant for more than 40 years, died Saturday in Wyoming County Community Hospital, Warsaw, after a year's illness. He was 88.
Born in Strykersville, he attended a one-room school and as a teen worked on the docks in Buffalo to support his family following the death of his father. After starting a dairy farm and becoming a cattle dealer, he founded William G. Mest Meat Packing Co. on Route 20A in 1945. He retired in 1986. The business currently is operated by his youngest son, James.
Mr. Mest was the last surviving founding member of the Harris Corners Fire Department, organized in 1950.
He was a Eucharistic minister at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Sheldon and a member of the Holy Name Society.
Surviving are his wife of 66 years, the former Mary "Betty" Noecker; three daughters, Ann Foster, Joan Gasiewicz and Ruth Zenier; six sons, William J., John, Joseph, Francis, Matthew and James; and two sisters, Anna Barvian and Leona Meyer.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at noon Tuesday in the St. Cecilia's Site of St. John Neumann Parish, Centerline Road, Sheldon.