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Ronald D Priest

Ronald D. Priest of Otto, a three-term Cattaraugus County legislator, died Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Buffalo General Hospital/Gates vascular institute at age 77.  

Born in new Albion, Mr. Priest was son of the late Maurice and Mildred (Earle) Priest.  He was a 1955 graduate of Cattaraugus high School, where he excelled in baseball, basketball and six-man football.

He served in the U.S. Army in Korea as a military policeman before returning home to work at Gowanda Psychiatric Center, where he played on hospital baseball teams with the likes of former major league baseball pitcher Marion Fricano.

He received his associate's degree from Alfred State College in 1967, working at Curtice Burns Foods and at Bent Lee Farms in the Adirondacks before buying a dairy farm in Otto in 1969.

Mr. Priest served as an Otto town Republican committeeman and was town justice from 1977 to"81 before being elected to the Cattaraugus County Legislature in 1982.  He represented the New Albion, Persia and Gowanda areas until 1988.  He was also a member of the Cattaraugus County Fire Advisory Board, a youth baseball coach and an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Otto.  

Mr. Priest also ran the Otto Slaughter Service with his brother-in-law Glenn Brown, for eight years and worked in environmental affairs for the CID disposal services company before retiring in 1995.

In recent years, he spent much of his time on the golf course, both in Western New York and Dade City, where he wintered with his wife,  the former Carolyn Sadler.  They also delivered Meals on Wheels when in the Otto area.  

In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Sandra (Elmer) Ploetz of Eden, and sons Glenn (Trisha) and Jon (Rebekah) of Otto: brother Donald Priest; sister Mary Sherlock; and 12 grandchildren.  

The family will receive visitors at Hills Funeral Chapel, 55 S. Main St., Cattaraugus, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Thursday Oct 2, 2014.  Funeral from Immanuel Lutheran Church, 9037 Otto-East Otto Rd, Otto, NY at 11 a.m. on Friday Oct 3, with interment following at the church cemetery.


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