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Jan. 30, 1925 – Sept. 18, 2013

Joseph T. Todaro, an Army veteran of World War II and founder of a personnel agency, died Wednesday in Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Buffalo, after a long illness. He was 88.

Mr. Todaro, a graduate of Hutchinson-Central High School, enlisted in the Army at age 18, serving in the Philippines and New Guinea as a scout. While recovering from an injury, the wife of Gen. Douglas MacArthur visited him in the hospital and awarded him the Purple Heart.

“He was one those people who never complained, grew up in the Depression,” said Thomas Todaro, his son. “He just showed up before you needed him. He was one of the good ones. He started his own business, made it successful and grew it and affected a lot of people’s lives in a good way.”

He also remembers his father for his warmth and wide-ranging abilities – from making drapes and upholstering to plumbing and electrical skills.

Mr. Todaro learned to sew from employees of a tailor shop in the neighborhood where he grew up. As an adult he worked his way up to plant manager of Teledyne Taber Inc., the North Tonawanda aerospace manufacturer of transducers used by NASA in some of the first space missions.

“He was a handyman extraordinaire,” Thomas Todaro added. “I called him ‘Super Dad.’ ”

In 1973, Mr. Todaro launched Todd Arro Personnel, which he ran until he retired in 2006. He also was a founder of the Western New York Personnel Agency Association and a member of Disabled American Veterans. Mr. Todaro was Catholic.

Survivors include, his wife of 63 years, the former Jeanette DeMartinis; and another son, Joseph R.

A private service will be held.