on May 12, 2013 - 10:43 PM
, updated May 12, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Dec. 23, 1930 – May 9, 2013
Peter J. Bertucci, a New Orleans native and Marine veteran who spent most of his career working at the Westinghouse Electric plant in Cheektowaga, died Thursday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a long illness. He was 82.
Bertucci, a mechanical engineer who designed medium motors and gears, joined Westinghouse in Pittsburgh right out of college, and transferred to Buffalo just a couple of years later.
He remained at the Genesee Street facility near Greater Buffalo International Airport until the plant closed and the facility was sold in 1984. The property was later incorporated into the airport’s expansion.
When businessman Chris Collins and other engineers purchased the former Metal Gear in Pittsburgh and moved the company to Niagara Falls, Bertucci worked there until 2007.
“He loved it,” said his wife, the former Johann Crick. “He loved math. He loved math books, and he loved his work.”
Bertucci attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans and went on to graduate from Tulane University. He also spent two years in the Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1951-1953 but did not leave the United States. Instead, he was stationed in Barstow, Calif., doing early computer work for the Corps.
During that time, he met his first wife, the former Nancy Roberts, who predeceased him. She was also in the Marines. They moved to Pittsburgh together when Westinghouse hired him.
Bertucci was active at his church, with readings and singing, and was also “very involved” as a baseball and softball coach in Clarence, where the family lived, Johann Bertucci said. He was also a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader.
“It was certainly a journey, a wild ride,” she said.
Besides his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Susan, Linda and Elizabeth; four sons, John, Thomas, James and Michael; and two stepsons, Bruce and Keith.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. today in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 8500 Main St., Clarence. A military service will also be held, with a military salute and bugle, and the playing of “When the Saints Come Marchin’ In.”