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William A. Hess, owner of architectural firm

July 16, 1924 – April 12, 2016

William A. Hess, of Derby, owner of the architectural firm Hess & Gorey, died last Tuesday from complications following hip-replacement surgery. He was 91.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute and served in the Army Air Forces as a ball turret gunner in B-24 bombers on missions over Germany in World War II.

Mr. Hess attained the rank of technical sergeant and received the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five battle stars.

Returning from service, he went to the University of Buffalo, where he played basketball for a season and earned a degree in architecture.

He received his license in 1958 and opened his office in 1960.

Mr. Hess and his firm designed many prominent buildings in the Buffalo area, including the Erie County Holding Center, the Buffalo Division of Parks and Recreation building along the Scajaquada Expressway, Waterfront Elementary School and the WGRZ-TV studios. He retired in 1990.

He also served as a volunteer deputy with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office scientific staff for 28 years, 18 of them as a captain, working at crime scenes until 2003.

His wife of 69 years, the former Rosemary Feist, died in 2014.

Survivors include a son, William A. Jr.; four daughters, Teresa Ganczak, Marjorie Cosola, Marianne Brown and Kathryn Juhl; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Monday in Blessed John Paul II Catholic Church, Lake View.

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