on April 27, 2013 - 11:07 PM
Jan. 20, 1918 – March 29, 2013
Robert R. Kreuger, a contractor and trucking company executive, died March 29 in Putnam Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Holmes, where he had been a resident for several years. He was 95.
Born in Buffalo, he was a 1935 graduate of East High School, where he was the star player on two championship football teams.
In 1937, he was accepted to Niagara University but turned down college to continue to work for his father’s fledgling trucking company.
During World War II, the Kreuger Trucking Co. carried PT boat hulls from Bethlehem Steel Corp. in Lackawanna to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The company won a contract in 1950 to haul steel girders for construction of all the bridges on the Thruway.
Mr. Kreuger remained a vice president of the trucking company when he left in 1952 to help run his wife’s family’s steel erection business, Kenmore Contracting Co., after the death of her father.
When her mother died in 1972, he became owner of Kenmore Contracting and the offshoot that he launched in the mid-1950s, Kenmore Construction Equipment, which rented out scaffolding and assembled it.
Kenmore Contracting built numerous banks, hospitals and additions to schools and factories in the Buffalo area and the Southern Tier. Its projects included the stadium for the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park and the stadium’s additional skyboxes in a later project. Kreuger Trucking hauled for the steel for the projects.
A Williamsville resident from 1945 to 1979 when he retired, Mr. Kreuger was instrumental in the construction of the North Forest Civic Association Building and served as the association’s treasurer until he moved away. He lived in Sarasota, Fla., for 27 years.
Active in Republican politics, he was a committeeman in the North Forest District.
His hobby for many years was breeding and racing homing pigeons, winning more than 100 trophies before he gave away his pigeons in 1979.
His greatest accomplishment in pigeon racing came in 1954, when one of his birds completed a 600-mile flight through Hurricane Hazel, which downed nearly 1,000 other birds.
He was a member of Charles W. Cushman Lodge 879, Free & Accepted Masons, for more than 65 years.
He also was a member of the Buffalo Athletic Club, the Buffalo Trap and Field Club and many contracting and trucking associations. His wife of 65 years, the former Harriet Williams, died in 2004.
Surviving are a daughter, Karen Rae Fraser; and a close family friend, Linda Holt Rekate, whom he considered his “second daughter.”
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Dietrich Funeral Home, 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.