Richard Fort Sheil, age 94, of Fredonia, died Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
He was born July 22, 1919 in Rochester, NY, the son of the late Christopher Joseph and Mary (Slocum) Sheil.
Dick graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1941. At the outbreak of World War II, Dick joined the Army Air Force and trained as a B-17 pilot. As a pilot in the 8th Air Force 94th Bomb Group, he flew 35 missions over Germany, France and Holland, including two missions over France on D-Day. Dick completed a tour of duty, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and left the service with the rank of captain.
Richard F. Sheil
Thanks to the GI Bill, Dick earned his master's degree at the Eastman School of Music and shortly after obtained a position at State University of New York, Fredonia. Later, he earned the doctor of philosophy degree in phonetics at the University of Michigan. Dick taught voice and choral conducting at SUNY Fredonia for 30 years, retiring in 1980 as professor emeritus. He was the author of "A Singer's Manual of Foreign Language Dictions."
In recent years, he worked with his friend and colleague Ed Lawson in building a website to honor members of the 73rd Bomb Wing and was honored with full membership by the 73rd Bomb Wing Association for this work. Dick also collaborated with Ed Lawson in editing 35 CIA reports dealing with onomastics, developing several websites and co-authoring a forthcoming book, "Tatar Names in Western Siberia."
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Gladys (Apitzsch) Sheil; two sisters, Sheila Rocco and Betty Hinds; and a brother, Joseph Sheil.
He is survived by a sister, Kathleen (Sheil) Haigh; several nieces and nephews; and a cherished niece, Karen Carnali.
Following his wishes, there will be no memorial service. Condolences may be sent to Karen Carnali, 368 East Main St., Fredo-nia, NY 14063. Arrangements are by the Fantauzzi Funeral Home, 82 East Main St., Fredonia, NY.