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Franos Rados, 94, retired autoworker, WWII POW

Oct. 1, 1919 – Aug. 19, 2014

Frano “Frank” Rados, a former World War II prisoner of war and retired autoworker, died Tuesday in his West Seneca home. He was 94.

Born in Arzano, Croatia, he attended elementary school in Croatia.

He was forcibly conscripted into the Yugoslavian army during World War II and later taken as a prisoner to an Axis prison camp in Germany.

After he was freed, Mr. Rados worked several jobs, including sales, in Germany from 1945 to 1950.

He then gained entry to the United States by a sponsorship program from a Catholic relief service as a displaced person forced to leave his native country.

He worked a month for a Polish farmer in Long Island to repay his passage across the Atlantic.

Mr. Rados settled in Lackawanna, where he lived from 1951 to 1959.

He then lived in South Buffalo until 2012.

He worked as a material handler at the Ford Motor Co. Buffalo Stamping Plant from 1951 until his retirement in 1982.

An avid gardener who was known for his generous spirit, Mr. Rados kept a long tradition of sharing fruit, vegetables and flowers from his garden with family and neighbors.

He was a longtime member of Our Lady of Bistrica Church in Lackawanna.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Nevenka Ledic; a son, Philip; five daughters, Susan, Rose Petrinec, Anne Baker, Lorie Heinrich and Mary; and 11 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today in Our Lady of Bistrica Church, 1619 Abbott Road, Lackawanna.

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