Ralph A. Wit­nauer, 87, cus­tom home builder and re­mod­eler

The Buffalo News - - OBITUARIES - June 10, 1931 – March 23, 2019

Ralph A. Wit­nauer, a re­tired cus­tom home con­trac­tor, died March 23 in his East Amherst home. He was 87.

Born on his fam­ily’s farm on Par­adise Road in Amherst, one of six chil­dren, he at­tended St. Mary’s School in Swor­mville and Bishop Neu­mann High School.

Want­ing to take part in a stronger ath­letic pro­gram, he trans­ferred in his ju­nior year to Amherst High School to play foot­ball, walk­ing home three miles ev­ery day af­ter prac­tice.

He grad­u­ated in 1949 and served for six years in the Naval Re­serve.

Mr. Wit­nauer be­gan his ca­reer work­ing con­struc­tion by day and work­ing nights at the Chevro­let plant.

Af­ter man­ag­ing his own rough­ing crew, in 1958 he started a cus­tom home build­ing com­pany with Dick An­dres.

Be­gin­ning as Wit­nauer and An­dres, the com­pany be­came Ralph Wit­nauer Con­struc­tion in 1976 and Se­lec­tive Home De­sign Group in 1989, build­ing nearly 100 homes lo­cally, along with nu­mer­ous other projects.

He re­tired in 2002, but con­tin­ued to work part time with var­i­ous con­trac­tors as a re­mod­eler.

He was a for­mer pres­i­dent of the Ni­a­gara Fron­tier Builders As­so­ci­a­tion.

A de­vout Catholic, he rarely missed a Mass.

He was a fourth-de­gree mem­ber of the Knights of Colum­bus, vol­un­teered for Catholic Char­i­ties and ran the fish booth for 15 years at the an­nual St. Mary’s Church pic­nic.

He and his wife, the for­mer Joan A. Ki­ef­fer, whom he mar­ried in 1953, trav­eled ex­ten­sively in the Amer­i­cas and Europe. She died in 2002. Sur­viv­ing are three daugh­ters, Marlene, Becky Teal and Amy Steele; two sons, Mark and Gary; a sis­ter, Au­drey Leis­ing; 11 grand­chil­dren; and two great-grand­chil­dren.

A Mass of Chris­tian Burial will be of­fered at 10 a.m. to­day in St. Mary’s Church, 6919 Tran­sit Road, Swor­mville.

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