Edward F. Niziol, a retired steel plant foreman and decorated World War II veteran, died last Friday Dec. 16 in Arcadia Hospice House, Arcadia, Fla., after a brief illness. He was 96.
Born in Lackawanna, the son of Polish immigrants, he attended Lackawanna High School and played semi-pro basketball as a center in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
He served in the Army during World War II as an infantryman under Gen. George Patton and carried a flamethrower. He took part in the Normandy Invasion and campaigns in France and Germany, was wounded and was held for a short time as a prisoner of war. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Returning from service, he began working at Bethlehem Steel as a laborer on double shifts in the open hearth. He went on to be promoted to general foreman. He retired in 1975.
A former resident of Buffalo’s Kaisertown neighborhood, he moved to Eden in 1972 and retired to North Fort Myers, Fla. In retirement, he was an avid golfer and had several holes-in-one.
His wife of 65 years, the former Florence Orzechowski, a Miss Lackawanna pageant winner, died in 2007.
Survivors include a son, James; a daughter, Jane Dietterich; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Services will be arranged in January in the National Cemetery in Canton, Ga.