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Feb. 15, 1931 – July 24, 2014

Raymond P. Gebhard, Ph.D., a longtime educator who served nearly 30 years in the Air Force, died Thursday at his home in East Amherst. He was 83.

Dr. Gebhard graduated from Technical High School, Buffalo State College and the University of Buffalo. While earning his bachelor’s degree at Buffalo State, he left school to join the Air Force, serving in the 107th Fighter Interceptor Group. The jet fighter that he piloted is currently on display in the Pima County Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Ariz.

Dr. Gebhard served in the Berlin Airlift and the Vietnam War. His unit was mobilized for the Korean War, but he was not deployed. For 29 years, he was a member of the Air National Guard in Niagara Falls and retired as lieutenant colonel.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Buffalo State before completing a doctorate in educational administration from UB.

He taught in the Amherst Central School District. From 1957 to 1967, he taught at Eggertsville Elementary School, then served as assistant principal at Harlem Road and Smallwood Drive elementary schools.

In 1984, Dr. Gebhard began working as principal of Wyndham Lawn Campus School for troubled youth in Lockport. He retired in June 1997.

Mr. Gebhard enjoyed music – both writing and recording – and taught himself to play ukulele, guitar and piano. He also built an organ.

Although he retired to Jensen Beach, Fla., 15 years ago, he returned to East Amherst yearly, from May to October.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, the former Myrna Rambuss; two sons, son, Campion Leczinsky and Glenn Stewart Gebhard; two daughters, Amy Jewell and Gayle Gebhard McCormick; and five grandchildren.

A service will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Forest Lawn Chapel.