Nov. 28, 1924 – March 12, 2015
Joseph E. Flowers, a retired Westwood Pharmaceuticals facilities engineer, died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst. He was 90.
He was born in Buffalo and attended Emerson High School.
Mr. Flowers, of Akron, was preparing to finish his last year at Emerson, but when he arrived, he was surprised to see so many of his classmates had dropped out to serve during World War II and he joined the Army. He was in the initial landings on Okinawa and Leyte in the Pacific.
“I looked at a map we had and saw that Okinawa was just a dot in the ocean, and yet we would fight there for three months,” he recalled in a Buffalo News article. “I thought we would be there forever. I’m either going to spend the rest of my life here or get killed, I thought. If it wasn’t for them dropping the atomic bomb to end the war, I don’t think I would have been here today.”
Mr. Flowers received the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars and an arrowhead, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two bronze service stars, and the Good Conduct Medal
He and his late wife, Rita, relocated from Buffalo to Akron in the late 1980s. The former Rita Brendel died in February.
He was a parishioner of Holy Name of Jesus Parish for 45 years, where he was an usher, Holy Name Society member and bingo worker.
He was the institutional representative of the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers of Troop 43.
He was a master craftsman with wood who enjoyed remodeling.
Survivors include four sons, Michael, Dave, Jimm and Robb; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Philip the Apostle Church, 950 Losson Road, Cheektowaga.