Chuck Janoweicki Inducted 2012 - Class of 1961
Chuck spent his early years in a home that accommodated his parents and grandparents. One of his earliest memories was how his parents and neighbors took great pride in "Lagrinka." The homes and yards were always spotless which reflected favorably on the integrity of the inhabitants. That great pride in ownership and standing in the community would follow Chuck throughout his life.
Chuck attended St. Hedwig's Elementary School in preparation for Woodward High School. Later in life, Chuck would always joke about where the Franciscan Nuns of St. Hedwigs received their educational training. Nicknamed by his Grandmother, Butch was instilled with a love of sports, especially football, at an early age, Chuck excelled in Woodward’s football program. He felt that sports taught life's lessons that trained, molded, and prepared you for life no matter what career path you chose. Chuck would talk fondly of his football line coach, Jocko Gordon, who taught History/Social Studies and Mr. Wilusz who taught mathematics. Jocko instilled a life-long interest in
history. Chuck firmly believed that if you didn't recognize the lessons of the past you were bound to repeat them in the future. Chuck credited his English teacher, Mrs. Williamson, with the mutual respect as she engaged everyone in lively discussions.
Chuck was named All City First Team in Football and was rewarded with an athletic scholarship to the University of Wichita. Chuck worked for over 30 years as a production supervisor at the original Jeep Assembly Plant on North Cove in Toledo's West End. He counted as friends, not only the other supervisors, but the people who worked for him.
In the late 70's, Chuck and Tom Dickens coached little league football at St. Hedwigs. Chuck's hobby was college football and was a University of Michigan season ticket holder for over 25 years. Chuck couldn't get enough, during the summer he would watch films of the previous games, and one of his fondest memories was attending the 1970 Rose Bowl. Of course Michigan won the National Championship they wouldn't dare disappoint Chuck and their many loyal fans.
Lessons learned from his family's hardworking neighborhood followed him throughout life. Chuck always felt a need to give back to the neighborhood and those that weren't able to help themselves. Retirement found him driving for Meals on Wheels and working as a volunteer preparing meals at the St. Louis Soup Kitchen.
Chuck was all about his family. With his best girl, Terry, they raised three great girls: Jennifer a social worker, Georgia an artist, and Beth a nurse. Always close with his two sisters Mary Ann and Pat, Chuck would always quip that his grandchildren were God's reward to him for living in a house full of women. Recently, The Woodward Hall of Fame was his labor of love. Chuck truly cared about keeping the scholarship fund flourishing. Terry, his wife of many years and countless memories, said that she can still see Chuck at the Woodward Sock Hop/Open House selling tickets in the auditorium. Accompanying every ticket sold was the admonishment "Remember you’re always a Polar Bear."
When Terry was informed of Chuck's induction into the Woodward Hall of Fame her first thought was he would have said. "Why me .... What have I ever done?"