Irvin C. Wisniewski
AGE: 89 • Newark
Irvin C. "Whiz" Wisniewski, 89, of Newark, DE., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born January 8, 1925 in Toledo, OH to the late Frank and Stella (Chmielewski) Wisniewski.
He graduated from Woodward H.S. in Toledo, OH., where his athletic prowess would earn him a place in both the high school and city halls of fame. Irvin then answered the call and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a Second Lieutenant, instructing B-29 bombardier crews. Upon his return, Irvin attended the University of Michigan
, becoming a 2 sport, 4 year letter athlete. He played on the 1947 and 1948 teams that won the national college championships. The '48 team had the honor of playing in the Rose Bowl where they beat USC 49-0. Irvin played basketball on the '48 team that won the Western Conference Championship and was the first University of Michigan team to be invited to play in the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Irvin obtained a head coaching position at Hillsdale College. It was at this time that he and his wife Martha established Varsity Day Camp in Pinckney, MI for boys and girls ages 6-13. The camp still operates today, 65 years later.
Irv was then tapped to coach at the University of Delaware where he was the line coach and offensive coordinator for the football team and head coach of the basketball and golf teams. He was chosen in 1966-67 to be a goodwill ambassador and travel to Poland, which at the time was still behind the Iron Curtain, to establish a basketball program that resulted in becoming Poland's 1968 Olympic
Team. In 2000, he was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame for his coaching, and in 2006 to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.
A man of strong faith, Irv was instrumental in the establishment of the Neumann center which is now the St. Thomas More Oratory at the University of Delaware. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Irv also gave his time, talents and expertise to the local CYO. In addition to running Varsity Day Camp, he had a successful business, Delaware Sporting Goods, for over 30 years. He is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Martha; children Anne Brattan and husband Tom of Columbia, MD., Mary Wisniewski of Chicago, IL., Pat Wisniewski and wife Karen of Newark, DE., Mike Wisniewski and wife Barbara of Newark, DE., John Wisniewski of Oveida, FL., Jane Selner and husband Craig of North Wales, PA., and Clare Farrall and husband Ken of Lewes, DE; 17 grandchildren; one great grandchild; sisters Norene Dupre of Southborough, MA and Louann Vogel of Temperance, MI and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his son Mark, a sister Alice Goclowski, and grandson Matthew Farrall.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the St. Thomas More Oratory, 45 Lovett Ave., Newark, DE 19711. Viewing for friends and family will be held from 6-8 PM on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at R.T. Foard & Jones Funeral Home, Inc., 122 W. Main St., Newark, DE 19711. In lieu of flowers, contribution checks can be made to "Varsity Day Camp" (Scholarship Fund) or the "St. Thomas More Oratory" and sent c/o the funeral home. To send online condolences visit www.rtfoard.com
R.T. Foard & Jones
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