Clarence J. Janowiecki, 1927-2013: Industrial engineer eager for knowledge


Clarence J. Janowiecki, an industrial engineer who aimed to keep others in the profession informed, died Sunday in Franciscan Care Center, Sylvania. He was 85.

He had heart and mobility problems in recent years, but didn’t have a serious illness, his daughters said. “He just wore out,” daughter Regina said.

Mr. Janowiecki of Sylvania Township was about 70 when he retired. He closed his career as an engineer for the manufacturing side of Lott Industries, which employs people with disabilities.

He’d been an industrial engineer in packaging and design for 34 years at the DeVilbiss Co., a leading maker of atomizers and spray painting equipment. His assignments included laying out the rubber and sheet metal departments and designing the firm's business offices, said Jerry Rossman, who worked in manufacturing engineering there.

“The thing about Clarence that should be emphasized is he was the easiest guy to work with and talk to,” Mr. Rossman said. “He was a popular guy at the company.”

After the complex closed, the men regularly traveled together to the monthly breakfast get-together of DeVilbiss Co. colleagues.

“I considered him one of my closest friends,” Mr. Rossman said.

Mr. Janowiecki was an officer in the 1960s and 1970s of the local Institute of Industrial Engineers chapter. Just by picking up the phone, he invited prominent thinkers and doers in the field to address members. And most often, they said yes. His belief was “we need to bring the people in because we need to know about the next thing,” daughter Jennifer said.

He was born Aug. 26, 1927, to Stella and John Janowiecki. He was a 1945 graduate of Macomber Vocational High School and served stateside in the Army at the end of World War II.

During high school, he was a caddy at Inverness Club and there met golf legend Byron Nelson, who was the head professional. Mr. Nelson encouraged Mr. Janowiecki to continue his education, adding, “‘Clarence, you can’t go to college doing this,’” daughter Regina said. Mr. Nelson arranged for him to caddy for a member of the Stranahan family, who promised the young man a job at the family’s Champion Spark Plug Co., where Mr. Janowiecki’s future wife worked.

The couple married April 7, 1951. Sixty years later, at Franciscan Care Center, the couple renewed their vows at a Mass, and the center re-created a wedding reception — to which invitations had been mailed — with cake, decorations, and toasts. “It was beautiful. It was like a mini wedding,” daughter Regina said.

Surviving are his wife, Regina Janowiecki, whom he married April 7, 1951; daughters, Regina Rambo, Jennifer Brattain, and Karen Mellen; brothers, Richard and Donald Janowiecki, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today in the Dowling Funeral Home, New West Road at King Road, Sylvania Township. Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph Church, Sylvania, where he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to St. Ursula Academy or the Franciscan Care Center.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182