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Charles E. Treanor, Calspan physicist and engineer Oct. 22, 1924 -- May 27, 2012

Charles E. Treanor, Ph.D., a physicist and engineer who served as the first president of Calspan-UB Research Corp., died Sunday in Highland Hospital, Rochester, from complications due to Parkinson's disease. He was 87.

A native of Buffalo, Dr. Treanor lived most of his life in Buffalo and Williamsville, moving to Rochester in 2008 to be near family.

A veteran of World War II, Dr. Treanor served with the Army Air Forces. His service included time in India and later China, where he worked as a radio technician with a division that rescued pilots who crashed in the Himalayas.

After attending Yale University and the University of Minnesota, where he graduated in 1948, he went on to the University of Buffalo, where he received his master's and doctorate degrees in physics.

He worked his entire professional life at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory and its successor entities, Calspan and Arvin. An internationally recognized expert in fluid dynamics, he contributed more than 100 papers on the subject. The field now includes the "Treanor Number," "Treanor Distribution" and "Treanor Equation" as routine computational processes. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1990.

He was a vice president of Calspan and in 1983 became the first president and director of CUBRC, a pioneering collaboration between UB and private industry, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1988.

In addition to continuing his professional interests after retirement, Dr. Treanor also pursued an intense interest in Ireland, his ancestral home. He was a founding member of the Erie County Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, also serving as president, and for many years wrote a column on Irish politics for the Irish Times.

He also headed a fundraising effort that resulted in the erection of Buffalo's downtown monument to the Irish men and women who came to Buffalo in the wake of the Irish potato famine.

He also served as a lector and distributed Communion at St. Gregory the Great Church in Amherst and served on the board of directors at St. Francis Nursing Home in Buffalo.

His wife of 53 years, Ruth Ziegelmaier Treanor, died in 2003.

He is survived by four sons, John, Timothy, Peter and Michael; a daughter, Melissa Demjanenko; and a brother, Dr. John James Treanor.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.