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Published: Monday, 10/22/2012

Betty Jane Woznicki, 1919-2012

Ex-Toledo employee served 13 city mayors

BY JIM SIELICKI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Betty Jane Woznicki, 92, a former Toledo employee who worked under 13 mayoral administrations spanning nearly 56 years, died on Thursday at Sunset House in Ottawa Hills, where she had lived for the past five years.

The family did not know the cause of death.

Mrs. Woznicki was in charge of payroll for the sewer and drainage division when she retired in 1995. Her retirement day was proclaimed Betty Woznicki Day by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

Early in her career, she worked for the state of Ohio, but joined the city on Jan. 2, 1940, the day John Carey was inaugurated mayor. When she retired on Nov. 2, 1995, she was considered Ohio’s longest-serving public employee.

“I just enjoyed being around people,” she told a reporter in explanation of her longevity with the city.

In addition to Mayor Carey, Mrs. Woznicki served under mayors Lloyd Roulet, Michael DiSalle, Ollie Czelusta, John Yager, Michael Damas, John Potter, William Ensign, Harry Kessler, Doug DeGood, Donna Owens, John McHugh, and Mr. Finkbeiner.

Her first job for the city was as temporary stenographer in the police department. She worked in the inspection division and the health department before becoming a clerk in the division of sewer and drainage in 1965.

“She loved her job,” said her daughter, Barbara Monger. “She loved working with the maintenance people. She was like their mother hen.”

She was responsible for ensuring that workers in her department filled out their paperwork correctly, whether for hiring or retirements, and would warn them to do it correctly, her daughter said.

She was equally diligent when processing pay checks.

“She always fussed when it came to payroll time because it was so hard,” her daughter said.

In the days before computers, there were carbon copies, time sheets, and punch cards to keep track of hours.

When computers were introduced, “she fussed about that too,” Mrs. Monger said.

A supervisor, Nancy Manworren, who was administrator of sewer and drainage at the time, praised Mrs. Woznicki’s service to the city in a 1995 interview.

“She was very knowledgeable in her job area and was efficient in the manner in which she performed her duties,” Mrs. Manworren said.

When she retired, Mrs. Woznicki, looking back at her longevity with the city, said the city jobs that were available when she started lacked the benefits that were enjoyed when she left.

Mrs. Woznicki, born on Nov. 25, 1919, to Arthur and Bertha Bernhardt, was the oldest of five children. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1937.

She lived in the Trilby area of West Toledo all her life and was a life-long member of the nearby St. Clement Catholic Church.

Her marriage to John Woznicki ended in divorce three years after the birth of their daughter, Barbara.

In her retirement, Mrs. Woznicki spent time with friends, taking occasional trips, and visited her daughter and grandchildren.

“She always stop in at our home, generally around dinner time, just when we’d be sitting down to dinner,” her daughter recalled.

She moved into Sunset House five years ago after breaking her hip, but enjoyed good health living in the supported-living section, her daughter said.

Mrs. Woznicki is survived by her daughter Barbara Monger; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and brother James Bernhardt.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 3 p.m. today at St. Clement Catholic Church. H.H. Birkenkamp Funeral Home handed the arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg.

Contact Jim Sielicki at:

jsielicki@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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