Kermit G. "Bud" Stradtman of Cheektowaga, chief of the South Line Fire Company and longtime district commissioner, died Thursday in Mercy Hospital after a short illness. He was 77.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Pine Hill High School and drove truck for Univar, retiring in 2004.
Mr. Stradtman joined South Line in 1962 and rose through the ranks, serving as chief from 1969-74. The Cheektowaga fire district covers about 3.5 square miles of the town, from its border with West Seneca on the south, Transit Road on the east, Union Road to the west and Losson Road to the north.
Most recently he served as secretary of the district and as commissioner for 30 years.
Active in many firefighting circles, he was a founder of the Cheektowaga District Officers and a member of the Erie County District Officers. He also belonged to the New York State Fire Chiefs Association, New York State Fire District Officers, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Erie County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen. He was a member of Cheektowaga and Erie County Fire Chiefs organizations.
Mr. Stradtman was honored for more than 50 years of active service in 2014 and also was an inductee to the Wall of Fame at the Fire Training Academy in Cheektowaga.
A longtime model train enthusiast, Mr. Stradtman was a member of the Train Collectors Association, Toy Train Operating Society and Lionel Collectors Club of America.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, the former Rosemary Rozewska; one daughter, Gayle Ann Broad; a son, Kermit George “Butch” Jr.; and five grandchildren.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in South Line Fire Hall, 1049 French Road, Cheektowaga.