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Ronald E. Deinhart, longtime National Guard mechanic

Feb. 3, 1936 – Jan. 8, 2016

Ronald E. Deinhart, 79, a master mechanic who was with the National Guard for 49 years, died Jan. 8 at Aurora Park Nursing Home in East Aurora following a lengthy illness.

Mr. Deinhart earned an automotive repair diploma from Burgard High School. He drove stock cars at the old War Memorial Stadium during the 1950s, and worked for Stranky’s Hardware Store and the U.S. Postal Service as an over-the-road truck driver. He also worked full-time as a master mechanic at the Masten Avenue Armory.

He spent 49 years with the 127th Tank Battalion out of the Masten Armory, retiring in 2001 with the rank of sergeant, first class. “He taught so many men in the Guard for so many years,” said his sister, Karen Zarbo. “Every time we went someplace, someone would say, ‘Mr. Deinhart!’ ”

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, and also was an elder at First United Church of Christ. He enjoyed fishing, woodworking, the Senior Citizens Club and bingo, and often donated his handmade works to church fundraisers.

Mr. Deinhart was married to the late Mary Lou “Tootie” Holcomb for 40 years.

In addition to his sister, he is survived by his wife, Sandra; a daughter, Cindy Griener; two sons, James and Paul; three stepsons, Thomas, William and James Langley; a stepdaughter, Tina Bardak; three other sisters, Deanna Napierala, Joan Sommer and Carol Neu; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His body was donated to the University at Buffalo Medical School. A service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Jan. 30 at the United Church of Christ, Church and Main streets, Arcade.