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William Mego, owned harness-racing horses; Aug. 22, 1938 -- April 27, 2012

William Mego, an Orchard Park resident who owned harness-racing horses that raced on area tracks over the past 30 years, died Friday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after an illness that had lasted about two years. He was 73.

An Orchard Park native who was born in the family home owned by his parents and grandparents, Mego attended high school in West Seneca at West Seneca West, where he graduated in the mid-1950s.

He also graduated from Erie Community College, where he studied quality control.

He served in the Navy, where he specialized as an electrician and airplane mechanic, from 1956 to 1957.

Mego worked briefly for Westinghouse, then for Worthington in Buffalo, where he was a machinist. He later worked for Ezor Transport, where he was a truck driver. He also worked as a truck driver for Stott and Davis in Depew.

Mego retired in 1998.

An avid horseman for 30 years, Mego owned ten horses -- trotters and pacers -- which he stabled at Buffalo Raceway, Batavia Downs, and other area tracks and farms. His horses included winners Alabama Gold, Western New York Kid and Avon Lookout. His horses were often driven by his son Kenneth, a professional driver, between 1993 and 2006.

"He liked the atmosphere and the action," said Kenneth Mego of his father's interest in horse racing. "He liked horses -- and animals in general."

Mego was a member of the Western New York Harness Racing Association.

He enjoyed fishing, golf, watching the Buffalo Sabres and Bills, and loved to go to casinos.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Norene Mego; three sons, Timothy, Stephen and Kenneth; and a brother, Joseph.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna. Military honors will be part of the service.