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May 5, 1927 – April 16, 2014

Donald B. DeGrood, a longtime teacher, died Wednesday in his North Tonawanda home. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, he attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School and South Park High School. He served in the Navy during World War II.

He later continued his education and earned his bachelor’s degree and then a master’s in physical education from the University of Buffalo in 1954. He served an internship as a volunteer physical education teacher for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Orphans Home on William Street in Cheektowaga.

Mr. DeGrood started working in the Niagara Falls school system in 1954. He taught at several Niagara Falls elementary schools for 35 years, including 13th Street School. He retired in 1989 as a sixth-grade teacher at Hyde Park Elementary School. He was a member of the Niagara Falls Teachers Union.

Mr. DeGrood was an accomplished pianist and organist. He recorded and produced his own CD.

In his earlier years, he enjoyed playing basketball and baseball and was an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills, New York Mets and the former Buffalo Braves.

His wife of 22 years, the Mary Ellen Beach DeGrood, died in 1977. He is survived by two sons, Richard and Donald; a daughter, Dianne Allaire; a sister, Margaret; and six grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Monday in St. Vincent de Paul - Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 1055 N. Military Road, Niagara Falls.