Sept. 21, 1923 - Dec. 24, 2019
Edward L. Adamczyk, a retired millwright, died Dec. 24, 2019, at his home in Orchard Park. He was 96.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Adamczyk grew up in Orchard Park, where he spent his childhood helping out on the family farm.
During the long winters, according to his family, he spent his afternoons zipping down the toboggan run at Chestnut Ridge Park, which his father had helped to create as part of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.
Mr. Adamczyk graduated from Orchard Park High School in 1939 at 16.
During World War II, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, in 1943, and served in the Marine Air Group 22, 2nd Air Wing in Ie Shima, Japan, where his family said he led and protected about 70 other servicemen.
He was awarded the Bronze Star.
It was on the island of Ie Shima that Mr. Adamczyk met war correspondent Ernie Pyle – a highlight of Mr. Adamczyk's military service. He was honorably discharged in 1945, and married the former Erma Henning the following year in Orchard Park.
Taking advantage of his natural athleticism, Mr. Adamczyk pursued a career in sports – earning a spot as a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians minor league team.
After the birth of his first child in 1947, Mr. Adamczyk started a new career as a carpenter, and eventually opened his own carpentry business.
He continued to play amateur baseball, pitching in the Orchard Park Merchants League well into his 40s.
In 1960, Mr. Adamczyk went to work for the carpenters' union as a millwright, until his retirement in 1978.
After his retirement, he and his wife spent their time taking road trips across the country, as well as camping and bowling.
They were members of the Elma Golf Course and were fixtures at sporting events and extracurricular activities for their grandchildren.
Mr. Adamczyk pursued hunting and fishing with his nephews.
He was a volunteer with the Hillcrest Fire Department, and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion Post 567.
He was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, who died in 2016.
Mr. Adamczyk is survived by a son, Scott; three daughters, Susan, Becky Mead and Amy Senne; a sister, Dorothy, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.