‘Renaissance man’ Joe Janoski remembered in Wading River

Joe Janoski’s son Jay (left, in glasses) leaving the St. John the
Baptist church in Wading River with his daughter, Raven, and some 100 others after the funeral mass Friday morning.

Former longtime Riverhead Supervisor Joe Janoski was remembered as a “tireless community leader” by state Senator Ken LaValle, who delivered a brief speech at Mr. Janoski’s funeral Friday at St. John the Baptist Church in Wading River.
Mr. LaValle told mourners how he first met Mr. Janoski about four decades ago in Newfield High School in Selden , where Mr. LaValle was an assistant principal and had hired Mr. Janoski as an art teacher.
“He made sure that every student was all that they could be,” Mr. LaValle recalled of Mr. Janoski’s teaching.
When Mr. LaValle later became a state senator he hired Mr. Janoski as an aide. Mr. Janoski eventually ran for town supervisor in 1979 on the Republican line, where he defeated incumbent Democrat Allen Smith.
Mr. Janoski died at his home on April 10 at the age of 68. He was town
supervisor from 1980 to 1995, when he stepped down because of health
As a supervisor, he said Mr. Janoski “was a tireless community leader and someone I always felt was a true renaissance man.”
Friends and family members,  past and present Town Board members and government officials, including former Suffolk County Executive Bob Gaffney, comprised the some 100 people who attended the low-key service.
Hawk Woodson, who worked for the town’s buildings and grounds department for 13 years, said afterward that he remained friends with Mr. Janoski long after both men had retired, and that he had been taking Mr. Janoski back and forth to doctor’s appointments prior to his death.
“I miss him already,” Mr. Woodson said.
Monique Gablenz, who worked with Mr. Janoski for 14 years, said she was just 19 when Mr. Janoski hired her as his confidential secretary, and she eventually worked her way up to deputy supervisor of the town. She said she is grateful for the confidence he showed in her.
Mr. Janoski is survived by his son, Jay, 44, of Wading River, and Jay’s wife, Danielle, and granddaughter Raven. His mother, Genevieve, died on Dec. 6 at the age of 91, and his father, Alex, died in 1963. Another son, Jared, was killed in a car accident in 1998.

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