Joseph B Sieczka of Mattituck and The Villages, Fla., died at his home on July 29. He was 79 years old.
Joe was born to Frank and Hattie (Garwonska) Sieczka in Lackawanna, N.Y., outside of Buffalo. He graduated from Father Baker High School, earned an associate degree from Alfred University, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree from Cornell University. He was first employed by Cornell University’s department of vegetable crops on the Ithaca, N.Y. campus in 1968. In 1980, he began commuting to Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center. The following year he took a permanent position as coordinator for the facility and moved his family to Mattituck. He retired from Cornell in 2002, but continued to be active in horticulture and potato research. He was a lifetime member and past president of the Potato Association of America.
His hobbies included gardening, performing arts, including theater, singing and dancing, and minor (sometimes major!) repairs around the house. He was a long-standing member and past president of the North Fork Community Theatre, as well as a member and secretary of the Peconic Bay Region Antique Automobile Club of America. He belonged to numerous singing and dancing groups and clubs, both in New York and in The Villages. Biking and swimming were frequently part of his daily exercise, with golf and pickleball added in retirement. He enjoyed traveling to see other peoples and ways of life, both in the U.S. and internationally.
He married Mary Ann Sabolsky in 1966, and they had three children and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Mary Ann in 2014, his brother Daniel in 2009, and his sister Sylvia Ferry in 2015. He is survived by his children, Elizabeth (James) Felakos of Brooklyn, Michael (Heather Cameron) of Bellingham, Wash., and Michelle (David) Scheer of Mattituck; and grandchildren Kimberly and Jessica Scheer, Lucia Sieczka, and James and Alexander Felakos.
Arrangements were in the care of Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. Memorial donations may be sent to the North Fork Community Theater, P.O. Box 86, Mattituck, NY 11952; or to the Mattituck Fire Department, P.O. Box 666, Mattituck, NY 11952; or to a charity of the donor’s choosing.
This is a paid notice.