on November 11, 2013 - 8:05 PM
, updated November 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM
March 29, 1927 – Nov. 10, 2013
Joseph William Kleinfelder Jr., a machinist at Moog, and founder and president of the first BECCO/FMC Federal Credit Union, died Sunday in ElderWood Health Care at Lakewood, Hamburg, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 86.
A native of Buffalo, he attended Hutchinson-Central Technical High School.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served in the South Pacific aboard a minesweeper during World War II as a fireman first class. Mr. Kleinfelder often entertained his family and friends with stories of his feats overseas.
As a member of Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, Mr. Kleinfelder assisted in the establishment of Bingo Night and was an active fundraiser for numerous church activities, including the Carnival and Hawaiian Night. He was an extraordinary minister and a charter member of Knights of St. John Commandery No. 382. In addition, he was a supporter of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, St. Bonaventure Parish and Bishop Timon High School.
Mr. Kleinfelder founded the first BECCO/FMC Federal Credit Union in the 1950s and served as its president.
He was a machinist in the valve grind department at Moog for 26 years. While employed at the company, Mr. Kleinfelder enjoyed acting as the employee Christmas Santa in full suit, boots, beard and hat.
After his retirement, he continued to dress as Santa Claus and visit the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center for many years.
Mr. Kleinfelder served as the chairman of the Town of West Seneca Zoning Board of Appeals and treasurer for the West Seneca Democratic Committee for 25 years. He was also a charter member of Post 8113, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing cards.
His wife, Bernice R., died in 2005.
Survivors include two sons, Joseph and John, and two brothers, Raymond and Robert.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:15 a.m. Friday in Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 4220 Seneca St., West Seneca, after prayers at Sieck and Mast Funeral Home, 250 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca.