SPRINGFIELD — They don't make them like Dr. Lee Janiczek anymore.

The tenure of the longtime commissioner likely will not be equaled anytime soon. After representing the 3rd Ward for 44 years, Janiczek is stepping down. He attended his final legislative meeting in December, where board President Jeff Rudolph referred to the presentation of a resolution as a surprise.

“The Springfield Board of Commissioners is pleased to have this opportunity to publicly acknowledge Lee J. Janiczek Ed.D. for the distinctive title of longest serving commissioner in Springfield Township’s history,” the resolution began.

Elected in 1976, the resolution cited Janiczek for the “virtually thankless and time-consuming position of 3rd Ward commissioner;” for his strong commitment to the community and overall good government; and active participation in the county, regional and state professional associations of township commissioners, serving in official capacities including leadership roles.

The only objection Janiczek might have had was the characterization as “virtually thankless.” He, in turn, thanked the 3rd Ward residents and community as a whole for the “privilege and opportunity to serve.” But his most heartfelt gratitude was reserved for those closer to home.

“None of this would have been possible without my family. My wife has been my support all the way through these years,” said Janiczek while introducing his spouse, Carol, son Lee, daughter Carol and several grandchildren in the audience.

“I can’t thank you enough for mentoring me,” said Rudolph, knowing the comment was true for dozens of others over the years. Members of the current board had the opportunity for thanks and praise.

Comments for Janiczek were numerous: From Ed Kelly, appreciation for “guidance valuable in knowing how to navigate through the job;' Gina Sage for his teaching and dedication; Dan Lanciano, leadership especially regarding lights at Church Road Park; Paul Wechsler repeated Sage’s words and added, “You provided things only experience and wisdom can bring;” and Bob Layden expressing appreciation for everything you’ve done for me since I got on the board.”

Janiczek is not leaving without an eye toward the future and well wishes for his replacement, Suzanne Hoffman.

Commissioners welcomed another outstanding member of the community and saluted William “Bill” Myers who is celebrating his 100th birthday. Similar to Janiczek, Myers’ record will stand for his 10,495 emergency calls as a volunteer member of the Springfield Ambulance Corps.

Myers is one of the “Greatest Generation,” a phrase coined specifically to recognize World War II veterans. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1944, became a medic; received a Purple Heart; served in the Philippines and in the occupation force in Japan. Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Myers returned to the Philadelphia region and his family. Myers worked in the aviation industry with several companies and retired from what was then Boeing Vertol Aviation.

Once situated in Springfield, Myers was active with the Springfield High School Band and Orchestra Parents, as well as with Princeton Presbyterian Church. After the sudden loss of his wife, Esther, in 1978, Myers joined the Springfield Ambulance Corps, enrolled in a paramedic course at age 67 and, his biography read, “the rest is history.” He is the recipient of many awards for his volunteer service. Myers was accompanied by Wanda, his wife of 40 years, his daughter Jean and her husband John McCoy.

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