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Published: Wednesday, 2/17/2010

Ex-librarian touted school computer use

Boniface J. Duritsky, 75, a retired school librarian who helped introduce students to computers, died Tuesday in his West Toledo home from complications of Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Duritsky, known as “Bon,” retired in 1995 from the Tecumseh, Mich., public schools.

“He knew the name of every kid in the school and what their reading level was and what their interest was in books, and he made sure the library had books for them,” his wife, Joan, said.

He helped bring computers into the junior high, starting with the library.

“He said [to students], ‘You're going to be carrying computers instead of pencils pretty soon.' That was in the '70s. He saw it, and he was trying to get the school system ready for it.”

He pushed for a bus to be equipped with computers and go to elementary schools so students there would be exposed. He helped teachers plan their lessons with computers.

He also taught Spanish and coached junior high football.

Collecting, cutting, and polishing rocks was a favorite pastime. He was newsletter editor for the Stateline Gem & Mineral Society.

He was a former co-editor of the Heartbeat of Toledo newsletter. He belonged, with his wife, to a “respect life” prayer group at Christ the King Church, and he helped design a billboard with the message “Choose Life,” and phone numbers for Heartbeat and Catholic Charities. The billboard has been displayed around the Toledo area for five years, his wife said.

The son of a coal miner, he was born Aug. 2, 1934, in Uniontown, Pa. He attended a preparatory school and a college of the Society of the Divine Word and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1964.

He was sent to the then-Divine Word Seminary in Perrysburg Township and given the task of disciplinarian. “He could not do that. That was not his personality,” said his wife, a former Ursuline sister.

“He got a papal dispensation” and was released from his vows, she said.

He received a master's degree in library science from Rosary College, Chicago. He also studied at Loyola University in Chicago and had a master's degree from the University of Toledo.

Surviving are his wife, Joan, whom he married April 7, 1969, daughter, Bonnie Duritsky, sisters, Mathilda Travis and Irene Franczyk, brother, Elmer Duritsky, and two grandchildren.

The body will be in the Ansberg-West Mortuary after 2 p.m. tomorrow, with a memory-sharing service at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow followed by a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. in the mortuary. Funeral services will be at noon Friday in Christ the King Church, where he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to Christ the King's Respect Life fund for billboards or the Stateline Gem & Mineral Society building fund.



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