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Published: 5/12/2004

Toledo: Cardinal Stritch set to add 5 to Hall of Fame

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

James Jaros, who ran into the athletic record books while hitting the books at Cardinal Stritch High School, will be one of five inductees into the school's Hall of Fame.

The ninth annual dinner and induction ceremony is Saturday in the school cafeteria, starting at 6 p.m.

This year's honorees also include:

w●Gerard Lonsway, an instructor at the University of Toledo;

w●Patrick and Marilyn McAlear, fund-raisers who also operate Service Spring Corp.;

w●Father William Rose, of St. Charles parish in Lima;

w●Sister Blanche Kujawski, who will be inducted posthumously.

Michael Gocsik, Stritch's vice president of institutional advancement, said the event used to be held off campus but said in recent years the Oregon school setting proved perfect for those returning students.

"For some of them, it's their first time back at the school in some time," said Mr. Gocsik, who will be the keynote speaker at the event. "It gives their families the opportunity to walk down the same halls their loved one did when they attended school here."

Mr. Gocsik said it will also be the final Hall of Fame dinner for Father John Stites, president and pastor at Stritch for the past eight years. Father Stites, who will go on sabbatical after the school year, has been associated with Stritch for the past 23 years, Mr. Gocsik said.

Mr. Jaros is chief financial officer and general in-house counsel for SSOE, Inc., a Toledo-based architectural and engineering firm. While a student at Stritch, he was first team All-City and All-Academic in football and was the most valuable player on Stritch's baseball team in 1980.

He scored the winning touchdowns for Stritch in consecutive years against then-undefeated Clay High School teams. People still talk about those games, he said.

"I said to myself there will be tons of other things in my life that will outshine those moments," Mr. Jaros said. "I've been to law school, passed the bar exams in Michigan and Ohio, but there really hasn't been anything else that gives you the same feeling I had at Stritch. It really was a special time and a special feeling."

An injury ended his football career at Miami University his freshman year. He transferred to Bowling Green State University where he graduated with honors in 1984 with a degree in accounting. He earned his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1990.

He worked as a legal and tax consultant to various high-technology start-up companies. One of his ventures included working with inventor and philanthropist Dr. Harold McMaster.

From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Jaros was chief financial officer and legal counsel for First Solar, LLC, in Perrysburg.

Mr. Lonsway, while serving in the Stritch music department from 1962 and 1965, founded the school's marching and concert bands. He also developed vocal programs that included the mixed chorus and girls glee club. He organized fund-raisers for band uniforms and formed the band booster club.

He is a field advisor to student teachers for the University of Toledo. He has also taught at Central Catholic, Ottawa Hills, Lucas County Office of Education, Mary Manse College and Washington Local Schools.

Mr. Lonsway was recently named regional representative of Phi Delta Kappa, a society for professional educators. He also serves on the board of directors and is president of the Oregon Senior Center.

Mr. and Mrs. McAlear have been major fund-raising organizers for Stritch since their oldest son, Mike, began attending the school in 1974. They have also developed scholarships for Stritch and Central Catholic students at the University of Toledo.

They operate Service Spring Corp., founded by Mrs. McAlear's father, Clarence Veigel, in 1962. Mrs. McAlear served as treasurer before retiring in 2003 while Mr. McAlear served as president. Mrs. McAlear is a former foundation trustee with Lourdes College and currently serves as a director of Sky Bank.

The McAlears are active in All Saints Catholic Church in Rossford and the parish's activities center is named after them.

Father Rose graduated from Stritch in 1985, where he was junior class president and vice president of student council his senior year. He graduated from the University of Toledo in 1989 with a degree in communication, with an emphasis in public relations and joined the advertising department of the Catholic Chronicle.

He joined Mount St. Mary's Seminary in 1990 and was ordained into the priesthood in 1996. He was appointed associate pastor of St. Mary's parish in Tiffin until 2000. Since then, he has been associate pastor of St. Charles parish in Lima. He has sat on the Heartbeat of Lima board of directors since 2001 and is the spiritual director of Teens Encounter Christ.

Sister Blanche was born Genevieve Mildred Kujawski in 1911. She was valedictorian of her class at Sylvania's Burnham High School in 1929. The following year, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis, in Sylvania. She was given the name Mary Blanche and made her first profession of vows in 1933.

She worked in hospitals in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas while earning her bachelor's degree from the University of Detroit in 1961. She also taught business education classes at Ladislaus High School in the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck.

From 1962 to 1982, Sister Blanche taught business education classes at Stritch while setting up the accounting and finance system for the institution. She taught religion, shorthand, typing, transcription, bookkeeping, accounting and consumer economics and eventually became the school's bookkeeper. She died in 1990.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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