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John K. Moldoch, longtime chemistry teacher

Jan. 27, 1943 – Jan. 24, 2015

John K. Moldoch, who taught chemistry for more than three decades at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, died Jan. 24 while vacationing in Celebration, Fla. He was 71.

The native of Poland emigrated to the United States with his family at age eight and grew up in Ellenburg, Clinton County, before moving to Rochester. Mr. Moldoch went away to school at St. Francis, where he dormed with other out-of-town students in Justin Hall until his graduation in 1961.

He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in science education from the University at Buffalo.

In 1970, he returned to St. Francis as a teacher, and over a 33-year career at the all-boys Catholic high school, taught chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. He served as chairman of the science department in the late 1980s and was the school’s moderator of graphic arts for many years, operating an in-house printing press that was the source of official high school communications prior to the digital age. He also was a longtime member of the National Science Teachers Association.

Mr. Moldoch had a reputation among students and fellow faculty as a demanding taskmaster, but he also had a dry, folksy sense of humor that often caught people by surprise.

“He would have such a straight face and throw these one-liners out,” said his son, Michael. “He enjoyed to joke around, for sure.”

A longtime Hamburg resident, Mr. Moldoch moved about 18 years ago to Williamsville. He retired from St. Francis in 2003 but frequently returned to campus for various functions.

Outside of the school, he enjoyed collecting stamps and knitting hats and sweaters.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 44 years, the former Bernadine E. Karpik; a brother, Stanislaw; three sisters, Mary Toepper, Barbara Evirgen and Donna Magliocchetti; and a granddaughter.

Prayers will be offered at 8:15 a.m. Saturday in Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9 a.m. in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 250 St. Gregory Court, Amherst.

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