John W. Wydler, 63, a New York Republican member of Congress who served nine terms in the House of Representatives before he retired in 1981, died Aug. 4 at Capitol Hill Hospital after a heart attack. Mr. Wydler was watching televised House proceedings in the office of Rep. Norman F. Lent (R-N.Y.) when he was stricken.
At his retirement, Mr. Wydler was dean of Long Island's congressional delegation and was the senior Republican on the House Science Committee. He stepped down, saying that "it is simply time to move on and give someone else a chance."
During his years in the House, Mr. Wydler generally voted with members of his party. He was known for paying close attention to issues affecting his district, which included many of Long Island's older South Shore suburban communities within New York City's metropolitan orbit.
He supported nuclear energy and opposed landing the supersonic Concorde at New York's Kennedy International Airport, a move that was popular with his constituents.
Mr. Wydler, a resident of Garden City, L.I., was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended Brown University. His college years were interrupted by World War II, when he served in the Army Air Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater.
After the war he returned to Brown, then earned a degree at Harvard law school. He was on the staff of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1953 to 1959, then served one year on a New York state investigation commission before opening a private law practice on Long Island.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1962 as an "Eisenhower Republican" who was critical of the policies of President John F. Kennedy.
Since retiring from Congress, Mr. Wydler had remained active in political affairs in his district, and visited Washington often to keep in touch with developments.
Survivors include his wife, Brenda Wydler of Garden City; one son, Christopher, of Washington; two daughters, Kathleen and Elizabeth, both of Garden City, and his mother, Ethel Wydler of Anna Maria, Fla.