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Richard C. 'Dick' Habel, 88, truck driver active with volunteer fire companies

July 31, 1930 – Dec. 31, 2018

Richard C. “Dick” Habel, of Cowlesville, a retired truck driver who was active with volunteer fire companies, died Monday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 88.

Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Cheektowaga and attended Our Lady Help of Christians School and Bishop Neumann High School. He later completed work for his high school diploma at Iroquois Central High School.

A Navy veteran of the Korean War, he was a machinist’s mate in the engine room of the USS John Hood.

After the Navy, he returned to work as a trucker, driving for Nu-Way supermarkets and later for Ernst Steel and Ryerson Steel, delivering steel for bridge construction projects throughout New York and neighboring states. A member of Teamsters Local 264, he retired in 1992.

While living in Cheektowaga, he joined the U-Crest Fire Department, where his father was a member. After moving from Amherst to a home he built in Cowlesville in 1968, he joined the Cowlesville Fire Company, where he served as president and fire police captain.

He maintained his affiliation with U-Crest as an exempt member and assisted with fundraisers and other events.

He was a model railroad enthusiast and traveled throughout the United States, visiting every state except Alaska. He also was active in reunions of crewmen from the USS John Hood.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, the former Mary Lou Schulenberg, a retired nursing home laundry supervisor; a daughter, Susan Zolnowski; a son, John; a brother, Thomas; and five grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, in Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, 4115 Union Road, Cheektowaga.

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