Leo J. "Joe" Magee, who worked on a new missile developed in the early 1950s before working as a manufacturer's representative for half a century, died Friday in Elderwood Health Care at Oakwood, Amherst, after a long illness. He was 86.
A Buffalo native, Mr. Magee attended Mount St. Mary grammar school, graduated from St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and attended Canisius College for a year before enlisting in the Army Air Forces during World War II.
After the war, he returned to college, earning a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Buffalo in 1948.
While employed at Bell Aircraft, Mr. Magee was part of a team that worked on the pressurized system of the No. 7 RASCAL high-pressure missile successfully launched at Holloman Air Force Base in 1952. Two years later, he joined his brother Jerome at J.B. Magee Associates, working as a manufacturer's representative until his retirement in 2005.
Mr. Magee was an active parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Buffalo, an honorary member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the alumni groups at St. Joe's and UB. His hobbies included military aviation history, photography, tennis, landscaping and taking care of his home.
Survivors include his wife of almost 61 years, the former Gloria M. Mueller; three daughters, Constance M. Reger, Carolyn T. Nolan and Mary Louise Stanley; and a son, Leo J. Jr.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, 3269 Main St.