John Payak Jr.
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PAYAK John Jr. John Payak Jr., age 82, of Toledo, Ohio passed away on Friday, February 27th, 2009, at St. Anne Mercy Hospital surrounded by his family. Born November 20th, 1926, in Rossford, Ohio, he was the son of Stephania and John Payak Sr. He attended Parkland Elementary School and was a 1944 graduate of Woodward High School where he was an All-City and All-Ohio Basketball player. After a year at Bowling Green State University, he served in The United States Navy, returned to school to graduate in 1949. His basketball team appeared in the NIT tournament numerous times, and was nationally ranked. John averaged two hundred points per season, in an era not known for high scoring games. He is a member of the Bowling Green State University Athletic Hall of Fame. John has also been honored with membership in The Toledo City Athletic Hall of Fame, and The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. John played professional basketball in The NBA's Philadelphia and Milwaukee franchises from 1949-1954. He also played with the Toledo Mercurys, the traveling team that competed against The Harlem Globetrotters at various exhibitions. After retiring as a player, John stayed active in the game, by becoming a basketball official. For over seventeen years, he officiated contests in The Big Ten, The Mid-American Conference, and in NCAA tournament action. He also served as Supervisor of Basketball Officials for the Mid-American Conference and rules interpreter for the local high school officials association. In 1956, he started the Payak-Radon Insurance Agency with his partner, Ed Radon. The business became known as Payak Insurance when he was joined by his son, John III in 1977. The agency is currently operated as The Payak-Dubbs Insurance Agency. John is survived by his wife and best friend of fifty-nine years, Ethel M. Payak; son, John III (Terri) and grandson, Robert. He was preceded in death by sisters, Bertha Payak, Viola Wozniak, and Jenny Mazan. Visitation will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 and 2:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009, at the J. Jeffrey Fretti Funeral Home, 5045 W Sylvania Ave. (at Corey), Toledo, Ohio where Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at The Church of The Most Blessed Sacrament on Thursday, March 5th, at 10:00 a.m. The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Mark Gallagher, the staff of the Progressive unit at St. Anne's Mercy Hospital, and the staff of Kingston Health Care for the care and comfort they provided. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to The Central City Ministries of Toledo - Diocese of Toledo.

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Published in The Blade from Mar. 1 to Mar. 4, 2009.