on August 5, 2013 - 10:14 PM
, updated August 5, 2013 at 11:10 PM
July 13, 1914 – Aug. 3, 2013
Eugene A. Pickert played a behind-the-scenes role in the effort to defeat the Germans in World War II, serving as a Worthington Pump and Machinery Corp. executive closely assisting the U.S. government in helping the Russian allies.
Mr. Pickert transferred from New York City to Washington, D.C., in the early 1940s and arranged for the Russians to receive massive turbines and other heavy equipment built by Worthington. Those machines, shipped under the “lend-lease” program, built up the then-Soviet Union’s infrastructure and allowed it to continue fighting the Germans.
The 99-year-old Hamburg resident died Saturday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
A native of Detroit who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, he was quickly hired by Worthington and soon sent to Washington, where he remained for the balance of World War II. Then he was transferred to Canada and worked for John Inglis Corp., a licensee of Worthington.
In the mid-1950s, he returned to the United States for a short stint before relocating as sales manager of Worthington’s overseas operations headquartered in Madrid, Spain. He and his wife, the former Louise Manning, raised two daughters.
The family later moved to New Jersey and then to Orchard Park, where Mr. Pickert finished out his career with Worthington. He retired as a financial analyst in 1979.
Relatives said he kept busy throughout his long life with a number of hobbies, which included painting, repairing watches and old clocks, and woodworking. Even in the fiercest of winters, he and his wife, who died 1993, could be seen going out for evening walks during their time in East Aurora.
“My father was a true Renaissance man. Everything interested him. When he was 80 years old, he used three different computers. He was a devout Catholic and up until he was 95 years old, he went to Mass every Sunday,” Susan Yeskoot said.
Mr. Pickert is also survived by another daughter, Mary Mannion.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 66 E. Main St., Hamburg. Prayers will be said at 7 p.m. Thursday in Donald M. Demmerley Funeral Home, 21 Pierce Ave., Hamburg.