John A. Wojtowicz of Derby, retired executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo, died Monday in Mercy Hospital after a battle with cancer. He was 69.
Born in Buffalo, he grew up in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood and joined the Babcock Street Boys Club in 1943. He was a graduate of Bishop Timon High School and attended Buffalo State College.
Mr. Wojtowicz began working at the Babcock Street club in 1954 and, aside from a stint in the Army as a clerk-typist from 1958 to 1960, continued with the organization until he retired in 1997. He was named unit director in 1966 and executive director and chief operating officer in 1980.
"Johnny was part of that environment, and he understood what those kids needed, and he gave them all he had. He was a powerful force in that neighborhood," radio personality Dan Neaverth, one of Mr. Wojtowicz's Babcock Street clubmates, told The Buffalo News in 1997. "He totally immersed himself in that job. There was no bull with John. Working with kids for the club was his life."
A longtime resident of Babcock Street, he moved to Derby after he retired. He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, North Evans.
His first wife, Carol Siefert Wojtowicz, died in 1984. He married Alice M. Kelly in 1987.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, John J. of Buffalo; a daughter, Carolyn A. Palumbo of the Town of Tonawanda; and a brother, Steve of Lancaster.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Vincent de Paul Church, 2050 South Creek Road, North Evans.