on January 5, 2014 - 7:38 PM
Feb. 6, 1919 – Dec. 30, 2013
Jack J. Raisen, whose long and varied career took him from the navigator’s seat of a World War II bomber to the real estate business in East Aurora, died Monday in the hospice unit of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Buffalo. He was 94.
Mr. Raisen, a Williamsville resident, also worked for several local engineering companies, including Westinghouse Electric Co.
He was born in Erie, Pa., but grew up on Buffalo’s West Side. Sponsored by the Butler Mitchell Boys Club, he won the city table tennis championship while attending Buffalo Technical High School, from which he graduated in 1936. He attended Iowa State University.
In 1942, Mr. Raisen joined the Army Air Forces and graduated from training at Maxwell Field, Ala., as a first lieutenant.
Stationed in England, Mr. Raisen flew over the Atlantic on anti-submarine patrol and also served as the navigator of a B-24 bomber on 30 missions over Nazi Germany.
After returning home, he was stationed in Tonopah, Nev., training personnel for service in the Pacific Theater before his honorable discharge in 1945.
He completed his education at the University of Buffalo, graduating as part of the first class of the School of Engineering in 1948. Besides his degree in mechanical engineering, he later earned a New York State professional engineer’s license.
Mr. Raisen worked for several local companies, with duties including electrical contracting, engineering for a heating and air conditioning firm, and nuclear energy work on a government contract.
He joined Westinghouse as a product line administrator, marketing motor control products on business trips throughout the eastern half of the country.
Westinghouse transferred him to Asheville, N.C., where he worked for nine years and then retired from the company in 1982.
He didn’t stop working, though. He became a real estate broker, opening a firm called Cove Realty with several associates.
Mr. Raisen stayed in the real estate business upon returning to Western New York in 1986, working for Century 21 Gold Standard in East Aurora.
He was an avid golfer, and played nine holes at least three times a week until he was 90. “He took pride in never taking a cart,” said his daughter, Jill Buerk.
He played the piano and organ, and sang with the Friends of Harmony Barbershop Chorus. He also was an active member of the Kiwanis Club.
His wife of 63 years, the former Clara P. Cavanaugh, died in 2005.
Besides his daughter, survivors include three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be private.