DR. WILLAM W. RATHKE - BERLIN, Vt. - Dr. Willam W. Rathke, a longtime Buffalo-area orthodontist, has died. Rathke, 90, died Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, in Berlin, Vt., where he moved to be near his children after suffering an illness. Rathke grew up in South Buffalo above his parents' store and delicatessen. He graduated early from South Park High School and near the end of World War II served in the Navy. He went on to graduate from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and received his orthodontics certification from Columbia University. While in New York City, he met his wife, Dorothy. They settled in Hamburg, N.Y., where he had his practice, and the family eventually moved to Orchard Park, N.Y. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Hamburg, N.Y., and named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. He was also an avid skier, tennis player, golfer, bowler and poker player, with a love of jazz music, traveling and the Buffalo Bills football team. He was an active alumnus of the University of Buffalo, and retired from his career at age 84. He is survived by his son, Scott (Fran) of Burlington, Vt.; daughter, Lisa (Todd) of Marshfield, Vt.; daughter, Sharon of Silver Spring, Md.; and two granddaughters, Jill and Margot of Burlington, Vt. He was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy in 1995. A funeral will take place Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park, N.Y. Donations in memory of Dr. William Rathke can be sent to University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, PO Box 730, Buffalo, N.Y. 14226, or made online at http://giving.buffalo.edu/dental .
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 12, 2014