June 16, 1930 - Sept. 27, 2012
NORTH TONAWANDA - John R. Baronich Sr., of North Tonawanda, a teacher, coach and school administrator, died Thursday in Niagara Hospice House. He was 82.
Born in North Tonawanda, he was a graduate of North Tonawanda High School and served with the Army in the Korean War.
Returning from service, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo in 1957, two master's degrees from Buffalo State College and his school district administration certificate from Brockport State College.
He began his career teaching physical education and science at all levels in the Lewiston-Porter and North Tonawanda schools. He coached teams with All-American swimmers and divers, as well as Lewiston-Porter's state championship cross country team.
In North Tonawanda, he served as administrative assistant to the superintendent. Wanting more involvement with the students, he finished his career as assistant high school principal. He retired in 1985.
Mr. Baronich served as director of North Tonawanda's Memorial Pool for more than 20 years and was director of the family swim program and the North Tonawanda athletic scholarship committees.
He was a member of the Third Ward Athletic Club, where he enjoyed participating the state senior volleyball championships with his team, the Good Guys. He also was a member of the Gratwich Athletic Club, the North Tonawanda Football Hall of Fame Committee and the NYSSA Snow Bounders Snowmobile Club.
Mr. Baronich was a past vice commander and life member of Stephen Sikora Post 1322, American Legion, and Little Valley Memorial Post 531, American Legion. He also was a member of Little Valley Post 8734, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and AMVETS.
He also was a member of the Cattaraugus Fire Company, a Niagara County special deputy and an Eagle Scout. He maintained a "chalet" in Cattaraugus County and enjoyed hunting, fishing, making maple syrup and forestry.
Surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Stephanie Capuson; three sons, John Jr., Dale and Joseph; a brother, Robert; and a sister, Dorothy Schubert.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 800 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.