Dec. 24, 1928 – Jan. 18, 2013
Paul J. Kreppel of Clarence, a 40-year employee of Bell Aerospace, died Friday at Hospice Buffalo after a brief illness. He was 84.
Kreppel, a lifelong resident of Western New York, grew up in Kenmore and graduated from Canisius High School. He joined the U.S. Army after graduation and served as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne, stationed in Sendai, Japan.
He attended Canisius College, the University of Detroit and the University of Buffalo, earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1955.
Mr. Kreppel began working at Bell Aircraft in Wheatfield in 1950 as part of a co-op program with the University of Detroit. On his first assignment there, he met his wife of 60 years, the former Shirley Schwartz. They worked together at Bell for several years on a variety of projects, including the Rascal Air-to-Surface Missile.
Mr. Kreppel worked for Bell until his retirement in 1990. He worked on a variety of projects, including the Automatic Carrier Landing System, and directed some of the development of the digital ACLS still used today on some U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. He also was involved in projects on the Trident and Minuteman missiles and the Mars Viking landers. He then became director of Bell’s accelerometers program. He eventually became executive director of manufacturing at the Wheatfield plant.
He enjoyed sailing with friends and family in Fort Myers, Fla., and locally at the Youngstown Yacht Club. He also was involved in figure skating, serving as vice president and president of the Buffalo Skating Club.
Mr. Kreppel was also a technical accountant for the United States Figure Skating Association competitions for more than 40 years. He served as an accountant at several international figure skating competitions, including two world championships, and along with his wife, organized and ran the Empire State Games figure skating competition for 10 years.
He recently was ordained as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. He also enjoyed traveling and over the years visited all 50 states, Europe and the Caribbean. He and his wife recently celebrated 60 years of marriage with a cruise to New Zealand and Australia.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John and Michael; and two daughters, Karen Hopkins and Lisa Laroussi.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 8500 Main St. at Harris Hill Road, Clarence.