WESTFIELD - Preston H. Dedrick, age 93, of Westfield, formerly of Fredonia, NY, died Monday, May 13, 2013 at the Chautauqua County Home and Infirmary in Dunkirk, NY.
Preston was born in Jamestown, NY, the son of the late Walter and Vanona (Hall) Dedrick.
He attended school in Jamestown, Buffalo and high school in Fredonia. In 1938 he attended Tri-State University graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. During WW2 he worked for Bell aircraft as a test/design engineer on the P-39, P-63, and did some work on the first American jet, the XP-59. After the war he returned to the family farm on Van Buren Road and built the Fredonia Airport. Pres was interested in flying from an early age and learned to fly while in high school.
After the war he instructed many returning military members through the GI Bill. After 1963, Pres sold real estate and became a broker with his own business. Yearning to fly again, he began flying for Dunkirk Ice Cream, Mitchell Foods, and the Red Wing Company. After a few years he became Red Wing's exclusive pilot and retired in 1979.
After retirement he and Jean enjoyed their winters in Florida and summers on Lake Erie. The grandchildren have fond memories of spending time with Pres and Jean at the family farm and airport. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his daughter, Patricia (Ronald) Phillippsen of Marion, NY and his son, William (Marcile) Dedrick, as well as by his sister Elizabeth Dedrick of Springville, NY. Preston was the proud grandfather of 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren
He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Jean (Johengen) Dedrick, whom he married on October 31, 1942 at Langford, NY and who passed away on Sept. 17, 2006.
Friends may call at the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield on Saturday, June 22, 2013 from 1-3 PM. Funeral Services and burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at www.michaeljfox.org
Log on to www.masonfuneral.com to send the Dedrick family a message of sympathy.