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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

John Wolowicz; ran restaurants, made sure smiles were on menu

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Published on January 22, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B10

John Wolowicz grew up in South Boston, and once he graduated from Jamaica Plain High School in the 1950s, he decided it was time to pack his bags.

Mr. Wolowicz spent a year traveling across the United States by Greyhound bus, all the way to see his cousins in California and back.

Mr. Wolowicz, a former restaurant manager who lived for many years in East Boston, died in his Quincy home Jan. 16 after a battle with mesothelioma. He was 76.

“No matter the circumstance, whether it was a death in the family or just a bad day, he always had this light about him,” said his daughter Jill of Quincy. “When he walked into a room, you automatically felt it brighten. He just had this happy, happy energy that always shined through, no matter what it was.”

Mr. Wolowicz spent about 10 years managing the restaurants at Logan Airport. He then managed Bailey’s of Boston, an ice cream and candy shop where he met his wife, Jean, who worked there. “John was a people person,” she said, explaining why he enjoyed his work. “The more people around, the better.”

They married in June 1982 and raised four children. In 1997, Mr. Wolowicz retired from restaurant management and became “Mr. Mom.”

“I left him with a teenage son and three teenage girls, and he managed to survive it,” said Jean. “He actually enjoyed it, which is surprising.”

He also acted as a father figure to the rest of the neighborhood and his children’s friends, strengthening his relationship with his children, as well.

“Having him be a part of all my friends’ lives, I guess it made us closer,” said Jill. “He always knew what was going on.”

Mr. Wolowicz enjoyed dancing, music, and gardening.

“He was always faithful, very religious, and had a very bright outlook,” Jill said. “He always put his heart and love into everything and nobody questioned it.”

Besides his wife and daughter, Mr. Wolowicz leaves two sons, Ron Quinn of East Hampstead, N.H, and Jon of Peabody; two other daughters, Jaime of East Boston and Jodi of Quincy; two brothers, George of Abington and Anthony of Quincy; and three grandchildren.

A memorial Mass will be said at 9:30 a.m. today at St. John the Baptist Church in Quincy. Interment will be private.

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Written by jdunccc

January 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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