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William S. DiNatale, 61, retired from aerospace industry

William S. DiNatale

May 24, 1958 - Jan. 10, 2020

A career in the aerospace industry began long ago for William S. “Bill” DiNatale when he was still just a boy who dreamed of space and built models of spaceships from “Star Trek.”

“He definitely was into everything that had to do with space,” said his sister, Roseanna Jacobsen. “As a kid in Tonawanda, that’s all he wanted – spaceships to put together. He had a fascination with space and technology and that really led him into a career.”

DiNatale, of the Town of Tonawanda, died unexpectedly on Friday at Kenmore Mercy Hospital from complications of a stroke.

He was 61.

Born in Buffalo and raised in Tonawanda, Mr. DiNatale graduated from Sweet Home High School in 1975. He went on to graduate from Bryant & Stratton College and continued his education at Ohio Technical Institute, where he majored in electronics.

Mr. DiNatale started his career at Bell Aerospace. He went on to work at Jacobs Engineering before his transfer to Arnold Engineering Development Complex, headquartered in Tennessee and home to flight simulation testing. Mr. DiNatale specialized in calibration and metrology. Among his work was testing on missile systems.

Mr. DiNatale retired a few years ago and moved back to his beloved hometown last June, grateful once again to be enjoying his Tim Hortons coffee and Ted’s Hot Dogs and Buffalo Bills and Sabres.

Described as gentle, humble and hard-working, Mr. DiNatale was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Sons of Italy and a club for Mini Cooper owners.

Besides being a space enthusiast, Mr. DiNatale – known to friends as "Buffalo Bill" – collected rare coins and Marvel comic books. He was a computer whiz and gourmet tailgater. He was an avid cross-country bicyclist, but also loved fast cars. And he continued to be a fan of Star Trek and a collector of its memorabilia.

Besides his sister, Mr. DiNatale is survived by a daughter, Tianna DiNatale and his mother, Vincenza DiNatale

Services will be held at a later date in Florida, where his family lives.

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