Funeral services set for former town Supervisor Joe Janoski
A funeral mass for former longtime Riverhead Supervisor Joe Janoski, who died Saturday at age 68 in his Wading River home, has been set for 10 a.m. Friday at St. John the Baptist R.C. Church in Wading River.
Mr. Janoski served as town supervisor from 1980 to 1995, a tenure believed to be one of the longest of any Riverhead Town supervisor.
There will be no visiting hours and interment will be private, said John Galla, a friend of Mr. Janoski who is serving as a family spokesman.
“He lived for his job as supervisor,” Mr. Galla said.
Mr. Janoski was born in Old Forge, Penn. on Dec. 28, 1941 and worked as an art teacher at Newfield High School in Selden, where he met Ken LaValle. The two both went on to work as aids for state Senator Leon Giuffrida, and when Mr. LaValle was elected to the state Senate himself, Mr. Janoski worked as an aid to him, Mr. Galla said.
In 1979, Mr. Janoski ran for town supervisor as a Republican and defeated then-incumbent Democrat Allen Smith. Many of his eight reelections were close races, Mr. Galla noted.
Although he was in office until 1995, signing the state Pine Barrens law into effect as one of his last acts as supervisor, he had several heart attacks during his last few years in office and eventually had to step down due to health reasons.
Mr. Janoski also loved vintage cars and old-time music. He often drove his 1960 Mercury convertible, with the “Kennedy/Johnson” bumper sticker, at parades and other events. He loved doo-wop music and Buddy Holly. He even ran an annual Buddy Holly tribute show on the Sag Harbor-based oldies station WLNG around the anniversary of the famed singer’s death.
But Mr. Janoski’s health continued to deteriorate and he had been in and out of the hospital over the last few months, Mr. Galla said.
He 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.
Mr. Galla said any cards or remembrances can be sent to the Janoski family at 67 Leonard Street, Wading River, NY 11792.