June 4, 1933 – June 17, 2016
William Franklin Baehre, of the Town of Tonawanda, who taught industrial arts at Kenmore Junior High School for 35 years, died Friday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital following a brief illness.
A lifelong resident of the Buffalo area, Mr. Baehre graduated from Amherst Central High School in 1951. He received a scholarship and worked part-time jobs while attending the former Buffalo State College, graduating in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts education and receiving a master’s degree in education in 1960. He was the first in his family to earn a college degree.
He met his wife, the former Caroline Briggs, while at college. Married in 1956 in Andover, they lived happily for almost 60 years until Carol’s death earlier this year.
In 1956, Mr. Baehre was hired as an industrial arts teacher at Kenmore Junior High School, teaching about woodworking, electricity, ceramics and technology for 35 years until his retirement in 1991. During the summer, while school was out, he worked at Kenmore Builders Supply, ranging from front desk, to ordering, to dispatch and electrical repair.
Between 1963 and 1982, Mr. Baehre volunteered as a member of the Erie County Sheriff’s Marine Reserve, patrolling the Niagara River and Erie Canal on summer weekends, enforcing water safety and assisting distressed boaters.
For many years, he and his wife were members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he was a member of the church committee and ran the fellowship committee, putting on dinners and breakfasts.
Mr. Baehre was a talented woodworker and carpenter. He designed, built and finished a family room and master bedroom addition to his home on Belmont Avenue; remodeled the kitchen, building all the cabinets himself; and built his own wooden boat.
With the help of his sons, he later designed and built a vacation cabin on family property near Cuba, N.Y.
After he retired, Mr. Baehre and his wife spent time visiting family throughout the U.S. and enjoyed gardening, cooking, fishing and hunting. They traveled to Alaska in 2006 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
He is survived by four sons, Mark, Michael, Bruce and Scott; his sister, Evelyn Jeffords; and six grandchildren.
Prayers will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Tonawanda Chapel, Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive.