John Duane Wojcik
NORTHVILLE, MI – John Duane Wojcik, M.D., 75, passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 surrounded by his family, and although his cancer was in remission he died of complications from his treatments.
Born in Newark, N.J. on May 15, 1945 (one week after V-E day). He was the son of Raymond Martin Wojcik and Mary Eleanor Wojcik (no relation). With his brother Raymond, John grew up in Bloomfield, N.J. and attended Sacred Heart of Jesus Grammar School, Bloomfield Junior H.S. and Archbishop Walsh H.S..
During each summer John was a Boy Scout camp counselor at Camp Mohican in Blairstown, NJ and earned his Eagle Scout Badge and brotherhood membership in the Order of the Arrow. He was interested in amateur radio, obtaining his General Class License at age 15, active until his death with the call sign WA2HEQ.
At Walsh H.S., he was mentored by Sister Mary Charitine, SSND who enabled his admission to the Pre-Med program at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C.
His first medical job was as a summer orderly at Columbus Hospital, in Newark NJ. He was so eager at his job interview he offered to work the “graveyard shift”.
While at Georgetown, he was set up on a blind date, and met the love of his life (and future wife), Mary Susan Mazzuchi. They were both 17 at the time and John was quickly welcomed into the extended Mazzuchi family. They married on August 26th, 1967 and recently celebrated their 53rd anniversary. They shared a deep love of each other, family, hard work and travel.
His brother, Raymond and brother-in-law, Daniel Mazzuchi, M.D. were both John’s mentors and after graduation from Georgetown, he attended The George Washington University School Of Medicine, also in D.C. Graduating in 1970 with honors and as a member of the AOA honor medical fraternity. At GWU, another important mentor was Shirley Johnson, Ph.D., who opened doors resulting his Internal Medicine Residency at Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital. When the Hematology program folded, Charles Trey, M.D. urge him to try Gastroenterology. He served his GI fellowship at The Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, just as flexible endoscopes were invented. He became Board certified in Medicine in 1973 and Gastroenterology in 1975. His sons Peter and Daniel were both born while they lived in Belmont, MA, just outside Boston.
John entered the Navy as a Lt. Cdr., Medical Corps, USNR ,as part of the Berry Deferment Plan, being stationed at Naval Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia. Having earned a Private Pilot’s license while in Boston, he completed by certification as a Commercial and Instrument rated pilot on the GI Bill. Upon leaving the Navy, brother-in-law, Daniel Mazzuchi invited him to start practice in Marquette, MI., where he was the first board certified gastroenterologist in the Upper Peninsula. He was on call every night and every weekend for the first year, until he was able to recruit Frank Welsh, M.D. to join him and formed UP Digestive Associates, P.C. After that, Tom Knuff, M.D. and Tom Noren, M.D. joined the practice in 1981 and 1991 respectively. Together in 1994, the group formed the Superior Endoscopy Center, an outpatient GI facility.
It was in the U.P where his daughter Barbara (Basia) was born to complete the family. He truly enjoyed the medical practice, physician colleagues and appreciated the nursing and support staff. With his family, he enjoyed snow skiing, snowmobiling and with Mary began a 35 year passion for tandem bicycling. John was active in the Marquette community, he was a founding member and director of the NMU Blue Line Club (Hockey) and the Marquette Economic Club. He also enjoyed UP history and became an Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver. His close friend, Gary Walker, introduced him to Deer Camp in Wells Twp. He took to liking to deer hunting, cooking and camp life but Gary was unable to make him a fly fisherman or bird hunter.
Throughout his years at Marquette General Hospital, he served as Chief of Staff, Chairman of the Physician Recruitment Committee and Chairman of the Physician’s Hearing Committee.
In 2000, at age 55, he presciently retired and at the same time Basia finished her degree at MSU. He then wintered in The Keys in Florida, for 16 years, and spent summers back in Marquette. John and Mary continued extensive travel throughout the US and abroad, spanning from their first trip to the NY World Fair in 1964 to French Polynesia in 2019. Ironically, he developed Stage III colon cancer in 2012 and a reoccurrence in 2018, which promoted them to relocate to Northville, MI to be closer to Peter and family.
He is survived by his dearest wife, Mary, his brother Raymond, beloved children Peter (Jacki) grandchildren Casey, Brody and Mason, grand-dog Winston, Daniel (Jennifer) grandchildren Dmitri, Elinor and Vivienne, and Daughter Basia and the beloved extended Wojcik and Mazzuchi Families. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Kathleen Wojcik, niece Marianne Evans and cousin Barbara (Basia) Zach.
He appreciated all the help he was given to enjoy a full and interesting life and had the attitude to do as much as possible, in case it all stopped tomorrow.
Due to the Covid pandemic, no funeral services will be held at this time. The family will hold a celebration of life in the summer when it safe to gather.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Trillium House https://trilliumhospicehou se.org/donate/ or Angela Hospice https://angelahospice.org /donations-landing/ or any of your favorite charities.