July 3, 1922 – June 25, 2015
John J. Hafele of Amherst, a World War II veteran and longtime Trico employee, died Thursday at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst from complications of a previous stroke. He was 92.
He was born in Hanover, Germany, and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 4 months old. He attended School 31 and Seneca Vocational High School.
He served in the Navy for four years during World War II, aboard the USS Burleigh APA-95 amphibious ship in the South Pacific.
In 1995, he founded and served as president for the USS Burleigh Reunion Group, organizing gatherings held throughout the country.
Mr. Hafele worked at Trico for 40 years, retiring as a tool estimator in 1984.
A longtime member with the Leonard Post VFW and American Legion Memorial Post 1731, he served as finance officer and was a past commander. He was active in local seniors organizations at Schiller Park, Infant of Prague Catholic Church and St. Amelia Catholic Church.
His wife of 33 years, the former Jean Field, died in 1983. He married the former Florence Lauck in 1985 and together they traveled extensively throughout Europe, including Germany, England and Italy. They also enjoyed many cruises.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by five daughters, Linda Sachs, Susan Conklin, Mary Marracino, Carol Koch and Patricia Sillitto; two stepdaughters, Donna Vinter and Virginia Belden; two stepsons, Michael and David Smith; 21 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Infant of Prague Church, 921 Cleveland Drive, Cheektowaga.