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William D. Airey, owned Alden Pools & Play

Nov. 24, 1924 – May 16, 2016

William D. Airey, of Alden, a swimming pool contractor, died Monday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Clarence, after a short illness. He was 91.

Born in Alden, he attended Alden High School and studied aviation in his senior year at Barker High School.

Mr. Airey worked in several factory and construction jobs – at Westinghouse, Twin Coach, Bennett Manufacturing and Pfiel Construction – before starting his own construction business, which became Alden Pools & Play.

According to the company’s website, Mr. Airey and his wife, after building a pool for their three young sons, were offered a franchise in 1964 to sell swimming pool chemicals and began building pools for other families. In 1974, the Aireys constructed a showroom on Broadway, which is now the largest indoor showroom in the state for Rainbow Playsets and swimming pools.

Semi-retired since 1990, when he turned day-to-day operations over to his son Charles, he kept an active interest in the company until his death. He was a past president of the Swimming Pool Association of the Niagara Frontier.

A life member and former chief of the Alden Volunteer Fire Department, he also was a past president of the Erie County Fire Chiefs Mutual Aid Organization. He was a major supporter of training for volunteer firefighters and was instrumental in the establishment of a training facility in Alden Town Park.

His wife of 63 years, the former Gladys R. Cotton, died in 2008.

Survivors include three sons, David, Donald and Charles; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Charles Meyers Funeral Home, 13228 Broadway, Alden, after visitation there beginning at 3 p.m.

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