Weekly Feature

2005-11-30 / Obituaries

Bill Serio, Williamsville fireman; raised funds for Camp Good Days

by DAVID F. SHERMAN Managing Editor

Serio Serio William (Bill) Serio, 81, an active member of the Williamsville Fire Department for more than 40 years, died Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005.

Mr. Serio served four terms as president of the fire department. At the time of his death, he held the rank of fire police lieutenant.

He was a graduate of Pine Hill High School and the Buffalo Radio Institute. He worked as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 30 years, retiring in 1979. For several years, he and his wife delivered newspapers for The Bee.

Mr. Serio was a past president of the Williamsville Exempt Firemen’s Association and a delegate to the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York and other firematic organizations.

In addition, Mr. Serio willingly donated a great deal of time to Camp Good Days and Special Times. He and his wife, the former Dorothy (Dottie) Morningstar, owned a summer home in Rushford Lake, N.Y. Each Sunday morning during the summer months, Mr. Serio prepared an elaborate home-cooked breakfast for residents to enjoy. The modest donations he collected for these meals went directly to Camp Good Days and Special Times.

Each year, these donations exceeded $1,000.

Mr. Serio spent several days each summer at the camp itself, patiently sharing the joys of fishing with children who were afflicted with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Some ventured out with him on a boat while others were restricted to casting their lines from a dock, but all the boys and girls came to know him simply as “Mr. Fish.”

Like most combat veterans, Mr. Serio seldom spoke of his experiences during World War II. While advancing through enemy territory in Europe, he was struck by a shell which shattered his jaw and nearly prevented him from returning to his own lines. Following his recovery and receipt of the Purple Heart, Mr. Serio was wounded on his first day back in combat.

The bullet that pierced his knee and ankle caused him intense discomfort for the rest of his life. Additional surgeries failed to deter him from maintaining his active status in the fire company.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Serio is survived by two daughters, Linda Holt of Amherst and Catherine Gerlach of Cheektowaga; two sons, Kenneth of Port Charlotte, Fla. and Rande of Bliss; 11 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Services were held Monday, Nov. 28 in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Arrangements were made by the Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home.

Donations in Mr. Serio’s name may be made to the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center of Western New York, 4141 Seneca St., West Seneca, N.Y. 14224.

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