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97-year-old WWII veteran sworn in as Ward Alderman in North Tonawanda

Posted at 5:41 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 18:27:32-04

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — William Gosch, who goes by Bill, is a WWII veteran and a lifelong north Tonawanda resident with a great sense of humor.

Now at the age of 97, he has a new job.

Gosch was sworn in Wednesday as a second Ward Alderman, temporarily replacing the current Alderwoman who was just selected to serve as the city’s Clerk and Treasurer.

Gosch said he’s excited to take on the position and is quite experienced.

"An Alderman is one of the people that run the city. They issue ordinances and control the function of the city," he said.

"It just shows that age is no barrier to wisdom, experience and ability to serve," said Assemblyman Angelo Morinello.

Gosch joined the Marine Corps in December of 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, just a few months after graduating from high school. He would spend two years overseas.

"My neighbor across the street was a marine - his name was John Bolin - and he was a marine in the first World War. And I had quite a high respect for him as an individual. So I ultimately went into the marine corps," said Gosch.

After serving his country, Gosch worked in the housing authority and even in fine jewelry, gaining the experience the city thought was enough to offer him the position.

"It's a good city to live in, our community is good. We have a low crime rate, we have a good city council," he said.

The first item in his to-do list is to help put up a monument honoring the women who worked in construction during the Second World War.

"Most of the men went into the military to say the least, which left a lot of manufacturing jobs open in our communities all over the country. And who took these jobs but women?" he said.