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Published: Wednesday, 1/9/2013

Donald L. Jurek, 1938-2013: Retired banker played basketball for Central

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Donald L. Jurek, a high school basketball star who brought a personal touch to his banking career, died Saturday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He was 74.

He had cancer the last 18 months, his son D.J. said.

Mr. Jurek of South Toledo retired in 2001 as a senior loan representative at the Westgate office of Charter One Bank. More than 35 years earlier, he was hired by the former People’s Savings Association, a Charter One predecessor. He later was manager of the Westgate and Oregon branches. As new manager in May, 1970, of People’s Savings’ Lewis Avenue office, he received customers in a trailer while the branch was built.

“My dad loved people and excelled at building strong relationships with individuals,” his son said. “He was very warm and honest and [had] a genuine concern about people and getting to know them.”

While a banker, he worked with young people through Junior Achievement.

He was born Feb. 5, 1938, to Pearl and Vitus “Pitt” Jurek. He grew up in Lagrinka, the Polish-American neighborhood around Lagrange Street. He played guard on the Central Catholic High School basketball team. From his first start, he was a leading Central scorer.

“The thing about my dad is he had a strong sense of humility. He never boasted about his accolades to his sons,” son D.J. said.

Former teammates who came to see him in hospice or visited his family at the funeral home spoke openly of his importance.

“They talked about his athleticism and his performance,” son D.J. said. “He was quite a player.”

When his sons attended St. Francis de Sales High School, he volunteered for the Knights of the Roundtable group.

Mr. Jurek was a 1960 graduate of the University of Toledo and received a degree in finance. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

He was a longtime member of St. Catherine Church and was on its finance committee and school board.

An American Red Cross volunteer, Toledo police picked him up at home during the blizzard of 1978 so he could be on duty at a command post to help those in need.

He and his wife, Joanne, married May 6, 1961. She died May 11, 2010.

Surviving are his sons, Christopher, Michael, and D.J.; sister, Marcia McDaniel, and six grandchildren.

Services are to be at 10 a.m. today in Christ the King Church, where he was a member. Arrangements are by the Walker Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to Christ the King Church, Central Catholic High School, or St. Francis de Sales High School.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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