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William R. Trautman, retired engineer and a founder of Trautman Associates

Feb. 20, 1921 – Jan. 7, 2016

William R. Trautman of East Aurora, a retired engineer and a founder of the company that would eventually become Trautman Associates, died Jan. 7 in Buffalo Mercy Hospital. He was 94.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Trautman was a graduate of Buffalo Technical High School, where he was elected to Kappa Sigma Phi in 1939. From 1939 to 1943, he attended Buffalo State Teachers College, where he was a member of the Civilian Pilot Training Program from 1940 to 1941. He also worked in the aircraft division at Curtiss-Wright. In 1943, Mr. Trautman transferred to the wind tunnel department of the flight research laboratory on Genesee Street, which later became the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory and is now Calspan Corp. He started as a draftsman and went on to become administrative assistant of the lab.

Mr. Trautman graduated from the University of Buffalo with a bachelor of science degree in engineering in 1950. Mr. Trautman earned his license as a professional engineer in 1951. That same year, he was named first plant engineer at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. In 1956, he resigned and, with two co-workers, helped found one of the first integrated architectural and engineering firms in Buffalo. That firm later became Trautman King Markwart Associates and continues today as Trautman Associates. Mr. Trautman retired in 1983. During his career, he directed work on public and private projects, including for Erie County, various local schools, The Buffalo News and Moog.

Mr. Trautman was a member of the Erie-Niagara Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers since 1951. He was a former president of the State Society, and a fellow and former director of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He was a former treasurer and vice president of the Buffalo Club, a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Buffalo and the Buffalo History Museum.

During his retirement, he was an active member of the Western New York Genealogical Society.

His wife of 67 years, the former Rosemary Rathman, died in 2008. He is survived by a son, Dr. Paul D.; a daughter, Ellen F., six grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 520 Oakwood Ave., East Aurora.

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