Edward W. Umiker, a former Erie County commissioner of Public Works and longtime resident of the Town of Tonawanda, died Tuesday in the Beechwood Continuing Care Facility in Getzville. He was 89.
A native of Buffalo, Mr. Umiker was a graduate of Riverside High School.
He also was a veteran, serving with the U.S. Navy during World War II as a physical training instructor. He attended engineering school at the University of Buffalo and Cornell University, and earned a civil engineering degree from Michigan State University in 1950.
Mr. Umiker began his career as an engineer with the state Department of Public Works, serving as a construction and design engineer.
While working for the state, he also taught for a number of years at the Erie Community College evening school program. During this time he co-authored a curriculum for the Department of Public Works' statewide in-service training program.
Mr. Umiker began his career with Erie County government in 1970 as Deputy Commissioner of Public Works, and was named Erie County Commissioner of Public Works in 1971. He was instrumental in building Rich Stadium -- now Ralph Wilson Stadium -- the Erie County Medical Center, and Erie Community College South Campus.
He retired from government service in 1982 after which he worked with several local consulting engineering firms until 1995.
During his tenure with Erie County, he served as a member and chairman of the Erie Niagara County Regional Planning Board and was a member and chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Planning and Coordinating Committee.
Mr. Umiker also served on the Town of Tonawanda Planning Board for 30 years. He was a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Erie Niagara County Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. He was selected as the Professional Engineer of the Year in 1976. Mr. Umiker was also named one of nine outstanding citizens by The Buffalo Evening News in 1982.
After his retirement, he was an active member and served on the board of directors of the Ken-Ton YMCA. In 2004 he received a Community Service Award from the Town of Tonawanda for his many years as a member of the Planning Board.
His wife, the former, Dorothy Hett, died in 2008.
He is survived by two sons, William and Mark, and a daughter, Bonnie Jones.
Services will be private.