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Peter P. Drumsta, World War II veteran and retired mechanic

March 30, 1924 – April 13, 2016

Peter P. Drumsta, a sports enthusiast who built planes during World War II and later worked more than 45 years for automobile dealerships, died in his City of Tonawanda home after a very brief illness. He was 92.

He and his wife of 69 years, the former Mary Schiender, raised three sons and two daughters.

A devoted fan of the New York Yankees, Mr. Drumsta witnessed one of the most famous baseball games of all time on Oct. 8, 1956, when he watched Yankees’ pitcher Don Larsen pitch the only perfect game in World Series history at Yankee Stadium.

“My dad was such a fan that he drove from Tonawanda to Yankee Stadium that day, watched the game, and drove all the way back home, all by himself,” recalled his oldest son, former Buffalo News sportswriter Peter J. Drumsta. “He really loved the Yankees.”

Born in his family’s home on Buffalo’s East Side and educated at Burgard Vocational High School, Mr. Drumsta joined the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was assigned to an air base in India, where he assembled planes from parts sent from America.

After the war, he worked as a mechanic for several local car dealerships, including Russo Chevrolet in Niagara Falls, where he specialized in auto transmission repair. After retiring from that work, he later spent five years delivering auto parts for David Smith Cadillac in Lockport. He retired at age 81 after making friends at dealerships from East Aurora to Lewiston.

An expert fisherman, Mr. Drumsta also enjoyed restoring antique cars and building scale model airplanes, a hobby that kept him active into his 90s. He also delighted in spending time with his nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Kate Klimek and Jean Davis; and three sons, Peter, Michael and Raymond. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Francis Chapel, 71 Adam St., City of Tonawanda.

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