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William E. Kempker, decorated WWII veteran

July 28, 1925 – June 25, 2016

William Edmond Kempker of Buffalo, a decorated World War II veteran, died Saturday in the Batavia Veterans Affairs Medical Center after a lengthy illness. He was 90.

Born in Buffalo, he attended Emerson High School and joined the Army at the age of 18. He was a rifleman in the 290th Infantry Regiment of the 75th Infantry Division. After the 75th Infantry arrived in France in December 1944, he was twice wounded in action, during the Battle of the Bulge and during the Battle of Ruhr Pocket in April 1945.

Rated as 100 percent combat disabled, he was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star and the Conspicuous Service Cross. Proud of his war service, he was a lifetime member of Paul J. Schifferli Chapter 150, Disabled American Veterans.

Known to friends by his boyhood nickname, “Bubbles,” Mr. Kempker lived in the family home on Michigan Avenue and was devoted to his family, providing coffee and cards for Sunday afternoon gatherings.

An avid sportsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing and spent many days at the family camp on the Southern Tier or a boathouse on Lake Erie. He also grew vegetables and fruit trees and was a beekeeper.

Survivors include a sister, Olga Apfel.

Funeral services will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive at Parker Boulevard, Town of Tonawanda.

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