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Dr. Lee J. Janiczek, a beacon of knowledge and community service, passed away peacefully on January 31, 2024, in Media, Pennsylvania. Born on March 29, 1941, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, Lee was a son to the late Leroy R. and Sarah E. (Spaide) Janiczek. He shared a loving marriage with the late Carole A. (Varano) Janiczek, and together they raised a family that brought him immense pride and joy.
Lee's formative years were spent in Springfield, where he graduated from Springfield High School in 1959. His quest for knowledge led him to Widener University, formerly known as Pennsylvania Military College, where he graduated in 1963. Furthering his education, he earned a Master’s degree from Villanova University in 1971 and later, in 1995, he earned his Doctorate degree from Immaculata University. These institutions laid the groundwork for what would become an extraordinary career in education and public service.
Lee's professional journey was marked by his dedication to the field of education. He served as an Assistant Professor and Chairman of Graduate Studies at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and held various administrative roles including Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Southeast Delco School District, Principal of Darby Twp. Elementary, Principal of Special Assignment at Ashland Middle, Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Southwest Delco School District, Principal of Thomas V. Studevan School, and Assistant Principal of Wm. B. Evans Elementary. His passion for teaching was evident from his early days as a teacher at Aldan Elementary and a Special Education Teacher at Chester High.
Lee's commitment to his community was unparalleled. He was the longest-serving commissioner in Springfield Township history, retiring in 2019 after 44 years of dedicated service as Commissioner of the 3rd Ward. His leadership and guidance were also felt in his role as the former President of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners. Lee's influence extended to numerous organizations, including the Springfield Lions Club, the American Heart Association, the Springfield Athletic Association, and the Springfield Jaycees, among others.
Family was the cornerstone of Lee's life. He is survived by his children, Carole J. (Janiczek) Krauter and her husband, Mark Krauter, of Springfield, and Lee J. Janiczek and his wife, Sara (Cardi), of Lower Gwynedd. Lee's legacy continues through his grandchildren, Andrew, Gretchen, Luke, Adam, Dalton, Carina, and Claire, and his great-grandchildren, Quinn, Sloan, Rocco, and Lochlan, who will remember him for his intelligence, friendliness, and the interesting stories he shared.
Lee's colleagues in education and civic organizations recognized him as a true leader. His memberships and leadership roles in professional associations, such as the Pennsylvania Association of College and Teacher Educators, Phi Delta Kappa International, and the National Education Association, to name a few, reflected his commitment to excellence in education and community development.
Lee J. Janiczek lived a life rich in accomplishment and service. His intelligence illuminated the paths of students, his interesting conversations enriched the lives of friends, and his friendly demeanor endeared him to all who had the pleasure of crossing his path. He leaves behind a legacy of unwavering dedication to his family, his career, and his community, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
A Funeral Mass for Lee will be at 11:30am on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 in St. Kevin’s Church, 200 W. Sproul Rd., Springfield, PA 19064. Family and friends will be received in the church on Saturday from 9:30 to 11:15am. Lee will be laid to rest in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggestions donations be made to the Springfield Area Educational Foundation, 111 W Leamy Ave., Springfield, PA 19064 or at https://www.saef.net/