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Ernest D. McPeek, retired state disabilities official

June 2, 1926 – March 13, 2015

Ernest D. McPeek of South Dayton, a World War II veteran and retired chief of service for the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, died March 13 in Homosassa, Fla., where he spent winter months. He was 88.

Born in Holidays Cove, W.Va., he moved with his family to Buffalo in 1936.

He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving with the 101st Airborne during World War II. He served for a time in Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Honor Guard and was offered an appointment to West Point, which he declined.

Following his military service, he worked at Westinghouse Electric for 18 years, then attended college and earned a degree in education.

With the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities he was a teacher, then an education director, treatment team leader and finally chief of service, retiring in 1986.

Mr. McPeek was a creative person who enjoyed woodworking, woodcarving, painting and stained glass art. He was a dedicated fan of the Buffalo Bills and extensive traveler.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, the former Rebecca Greenlee; two daughters, Diane Costa and Jacqueline Latshaw; six sons, Timothy and Steven McPeek, and Nathan, Eric, Darren and Todd Everhart; a sister, Jacqueline Straub; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.

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