on June 16, 2014 - 8:10 PM
, updated June 17, 2014 at 9:53 AM
Dec. 14, 1923 – June 12, 2014
David R. Newcomb, former president and chief executive officer of Buffalo Forge Co. and a well-known member of the local business and charitable communities, died Thursday at his East Aurora home following a brief illness. He was 90.
Mr. Newcomb was born in Rochester and served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, training to pilot B-17s and B-29s and achieving the rank of second lieutenant. Following the war, he studied engineering at Cornell University on the GI Bill, graduating in 1948 and beginning his career at Buffalo Forge, manufacturer of industrial air handling equipment, machine tools and other products.
He became company president in 1966 and CEO in 1967, and saw the business through a period of strong growth before leaving in 1982 during an ownership change.
Mr. Newcomb held directorships on many business boards, including Marine Midland Bank (Western), New York State Electric & Gas, Pratt and Lambert, C.J. Tower Co., Utica Mutual Insurance, Rigidized Metals, Bristol Homes and Conax. He also was a past chairman of the board of General Care Corp., parent company of Buffalo General Hospital, past president of the Buffalo Club and a member of the East Aurora School Board and the United Way board.
He took up skiing in his 40s and was an avid golfer. He was a founding member of Crag Burn Country Club and Woodsprings Swim Club, and held memberships at the Country Club of Buffalo, East Aurora Country Club and Longboat Key Club.
Mr. Newcomb also was a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of East Aurora and Hospice Buffalo, and a member of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Spring Brook.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, the former Anne Ruffing; two sons, David R. Jr. and William H.; three daughters, Martha N. Boyd, Lucy N. Vayo and Elizabeth N. Tibbetts; a brother, Michael C.; a sister, Nancy N. Wortman; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Vincent de Paul Church, 6441 Seneca St., Spring Brook.