on June 26, 2014 - 8:28 PM
Aug. 21, 1929 – June 24, 2014
John D. Fluder, who in 1994 caught a walleye and set a state record that stood for 15 years, died Tuesday in Absolut Care of Orchard Park. He was 84.
Born in Lackawanna, he lived for eight years in Immaculate Heart of Mary Orphanage in Cheektowaga after his mother died.
He served in the Marine Corps between World War II and the Korean War and wrestled professionally under the name Farmer John in the 1950s.
Mr. Fluder worked for 18 years as a welder and fabricator at Republic Steel and owned and operated Poor John’s, a Lackawanna nightclub, from 1973 to 1979.
He lived in Arizona for several years in the 1980s, working as a handyman. He returned here in the late 1980s, living in Blasdell and Lackawanna.
An avid bow hunter and fisherman, he landed a 16-pound, 7-ounce walleye in the Kinzua Reservoir on May 22, 1994, establishing a state record for the fish, which was not surpassed until 2009.
Mr. Fluder also was a wildlife photographer, played guitar and harmonica and regularly wrote letters to the editor.
Survivors include a son, John C.; four daughters, Hope, Tammy Parucki, Leslie Pinyan and Mary Beth Guitierrez; and 12 grandchildren.
Services will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Colonial Memorial Chapel, 3003 South Park Ave., Lackawanna, with a viewing at 4.