Oct. 19, 1938 – April 13, 2016
A private service was held for Bruce L. Godfryd, a retired General Motors employee and Army National Guard officer, who died Wednesday in his Amherst home after a brief illness. He was 77.
The Buffalo native was a freshman at Burgard High School when he joined the 27th Infantry Division, which was later converted to the 27th Armored Division New York Army National Guard. He retired in 2002 at the rank of colonel after serving as chief of staff/deputy brigade commander at the Masten Armory.
Mr. Godfryd graduated from State University at Buffalo in three years with a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism while working full time at General Motors. He attended Michigan School of Journalism for the General Motors Academy and also studied filmmaking briefly with Sony in Burbank, Calif.
Mr. Godfryd worked at GM’s Powertrain Division in the Town of Tonawanda from 1971 until he retired in 2003. He was public affairs director of the United Auto Workers and created a weekly UAW newsletter, which later became an award-winning monthly newspaper. He was also responsible for producing in-house educational videos.
In 1999, he was inducted into the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (the Knights Templar) at a ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also was a member of the Military Association of New York and the Royal Niagara Military Academy. He served the Department of Defense in support of the National Guard and Army Reserve and traveled throughout the country to military bases.
Mr. Godfryd also founded National Graphics Printing, a union printing business, which his wife later joined. They were members of the Graphic Communication Conference/United Teamsters of America.
He traveled extensively throughout the United States, Central and South America and Europe. They also spent time in the Amazon.
In the 1950s and ’60s, he worked in the record business and met celebrities including Tony Bennett, Dick Clark, Bobby Darin and Connie Francis.
An avid gardener and photographer, Mr. Godfryd was known for his parklike backyard, his sense of humor and his love of cooking and traveling.
Surviving are his wife, the former Carol Nuchereno, whom he married in 1997; and one son, William Wickham.