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Feb. 11, 1925 – Oct. 8, 2012

Fred J. Cassata, a World War II combat veteran and retired Bethlehem Steel employee, died Monday after a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87.

Mr. Cassata was born and raised in Buffalo and graduated from McKinley High School.

He went on to serve in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of corporal in the 65th Infantry Division of Gen. George S. Patton Jr.’s 3rd Army in France, Germany and Austria in Company C of the 265th Combat Engineers and later in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

As secretary of the association of the company’s 265th Combat Engineers from 1965 to 2002, Mr. Cassata hosted numerous annual reunions. He served as the association vice president from 2002 to 2004 and then as president in 2004.

Mr. Cassata was a retired 37-year employee of Bethlehem Steel. He also owned and operated Fred J. Cassata Landscaping and Snow Removal service.

A National Rifle Association member for 67 years, Mr. Cassata was an avid hunter and outdoorsman and a member of area gun clubs.

“He loved the country and outdoors,” said Sharon Cassata, his daughter, who said her father was fond of spending time with family. His love of family and outdoors extended especially to “his cherished granddaughter, Amy Lynn,” whom Mr. Cassata taught to fish, his daughter recalled.

His wife of more than 56 years, Alvira Malucci Cassata, died in 2003.

Besides his daughter, Mr. Cassata is survived by two sons, Thomas and Lawrence.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Andrew Catholic Church, 1525 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.

The Mass will be preceded by prayers at 8:45 in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.