POUGHKEEPSIE - Wesley John Bialosuknia, 68, of Bristol, CT, father, grandfather and husband of 39 years, passed away Wednesday afternoon, October 23, 2013 at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center surrounded by family and a cherished friend.
Born on June 8, 1945 in Poughkeepsie, NY, he was the son of Wes Sr. and Catherine (Tulacz) Bialosuknia. His early years were spent on many ball fields and in gyms throughout Poughkeepsie, including the Fairview Avenue playground. A 3-sport athlete, Wes graduated from Roosevelt High School, Hyde Park, NY in 1963. Known as the "Poughkeepsie Popper" or "Wonderful Wes," nicknames given to him by George Ehrlich, WTIC sports broadcaster, he attended UCONN on a basketball scholarship breaking several records, one which still stands, a 28.0 ppg average his senior year (1967). He was most proud of achieving, ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN status. Wes was drafted by the NBA, Saint Louis Hawks but opted to play for the Oakland Oaks in the ABA, where he holds a record of most consecutive 3 point shots. He was a member of the United States Army Reserves from 1967-1973.
A lover of all things outdoors, Wes enjoyed camping, canoeing, hiking, and gardening. Inspired by "Highpoints of the States" by Frank Ashley, Wes and Maureen conquered the highest peaks of over 40 states and canoed many challenging rivers throughout New England.
A role model to most neighborhood children, he often organized basketball, wiffleball or various other activities. He coached at Forestville Little League for several years. Wes also initiated and coached the first 8th grade girls travel team at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club. The season was completed with a 19-1 record and a New England Championship.
Wes loved his family and spent hours playing board games, especially Scrabble. In recent years, Wes developed an addiction to Jeopardy.
Wes is survived by his beloved wife, Maureen (Tackett) Bialosuknia, daughter Jane, son-in-law Arturo Portillo, their children, Tomas and Sophia; son John and daughter-in-law, Angela (Kress) Bialosuknia; sister, Jane and brother-in-law, Tracy Scott; mother-in-law Mary Tackett, several brothers and sisters-in-law: Ann and Clyde Fitch, James Tackett, Tom and Diane Tackett, Barbara Meyers, Fran and George Showman and Jerry and Josie Tackett and many nieces and nephews. Wes' funeral service will be held on Monday, October 28, at 9:30 a.m. from the Fisette-Batzner Funeral Home at Newington Memorial, 20 Bonair Avenue, Newington, CT followed by a Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 a.m.at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 79 New Park Avenue, Hartford. Interment will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Coach Dee Rowe Men's Basketball Endowed Scholarship Fund at UCONN. To share a memory, please visit us at: www.newingtonmemorial.com
Fisette-Batzner Funeral Home
20 Bonair Avenue Newington, CT 06111-2816
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on Oct. 26, 2013