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Dr. Richard S. Schweichler, founder of physical therapy program at Daemen College

July 17, 1927 – Nov. 27, 2015

Dr. Richard S. Schweichler of Lackawanna, founder and longtime director of the physical therapy program at Daemen College, died Nov. 27. He was 88.

A lifelong resident of Lackawanna, he was senior class president of the Class of 1945 at Lackawanna High School. Upon graduation, he served in the Navy as a fireman second class. Returning from service, he attended Brockport State Teachers College, where he played on its first football team.

In 1954, he became a registered physical therapist in New York and Florida. In 1964, he received a master’s degree from Canisius College and was appointed to the New York State Physiotherapy Grievance Committee, where he served for more than eight years.

In 1965, he received a doctor of mechanotherapy degree from Great Lakes College in Ohio.

Dr. Schweichler was named director of Daemen’s physical therapy program in 1973 and held the position until he retired in 1996. He became a professor emeritus the following year.

Since his retirement, the college has presented an award in his name to the physical therapy graduate with the highest grade-point average.

He was active in dramatic productions and appeared in local plays well into his late 70s. He was an avid golfer and longtime member of Bridgewater Country Club in Fort Erie, Ont. He also was an honorary Air Force recruiter.

Survivors include three daughters, Michelle Chapman, Maria R. and Beth M.; two sons, Richard and David M.; a brother, James; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Dec. 10 in Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna.

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