Peter M. Odrobina, who coached and taught physical education and health for 33 years, died unexpectedly Wednesday in his Depew home. He was 62.
The Buffalo native coached five sports – baseball, basketball, cross-country, soccer and bowling – in three different school districts, but primarily at his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School in the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District, from 1975 until last February.
Under his leadership, JFK's boy's cross-country team went 14-1 and won its first division championship in 1977. The boys' baseball team won six division titles and racked up more than 200 wins, coming in second in the state in 1988 for Class C. And the boys' bowling team came in second place in 2005 in sectionals, for the school's highest finish ever.
In 1988, Mr. Odrobina received the Cheektowaga Youth Board's Service to Youth Award and in 2005, Cheektowaga-Sloan School District's Certificate of Appreciation, for his "33 years of dedication and devotion to students and athletes."
"Sports has always been our life," said his widow, Barbara, who was one of Odrobina's students many years ago. "He was 62, but he had the heart of a 21-year-old. He just kept going. He lived his life the way he wanted it."
After graduating from JFK in 1968, Odrobina earned degrees in physical education from Erie Community College and the University at Buffalo before starting his teaching and coaching career. He also taught at Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.
He also enjoyed landscaping and nature walks at Stiglmeier Park.
Besides his wife, survivors include three daughters, Nicole, Mandy and Mindy; a son, Peter Jr.; a sister, Jane Foley; and three brothers, Gregory, Phillip and Timothy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Saturday in Queen of Martyr's Catholic Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga.