Dominic Olejniczak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dominic Olejniczak (August 18, 1908 – April 16, 1989) was the mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin and the president and chairman of the Board of the Green Bay Packers.[1][2][3][4]

Early years[edit]

Born in Green Bay to John A. and Victoria Olejniczak, he was a lifelong resident of the city. On November 24, 1938, married Regina Bettine at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay. Dom and Gina adopted two sons, Thomas Marshall Olejniczak and Mark Dominic Olejniczak.[5] Prior to entering public service, Olejniczak was a real estate broker.

City government[edit]

Olejniczak served as alderman from 1936 to 1944 and as the mayor of Green Bay from 1945 to 1955. During his tenure as mayor, the city of Green Bay built a pipeline to Lake Michigan for its water supply and the beltline around the city was planned and developed.[5]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Olejniczak's love for the Green Bay Packers began when the team was young. He was attending East High School and lived not far from City Stadium, which at that time was located on East High School grounds. At that time, a youngster could walk into the stadium with a player and carry his headgear and Dominic was among them. His interest never waned. He continued to be an ardent backer during his years as alderman and as mayor. On July 10, 1950, Olejniczak was named to the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors and the bond grew stronger. In his dual role as mayor and board member that year, he was a leader in the civic drive that netted more than $100,000 and helped save the franchise.[1]

Olejniczak was named to the executive committee of the Green Bay Packers board of directors in January 1952. Nearly six years later in December 1957, he was elected executive vice president,[6] and four months later was elected president of the franchise.[5][7] When he took over the Packer presidency, the team had not had a winning record in 10 years,[8] and that first season in 1958 under first-year head coach Ray McLean was the worst regular season record (1–10–1) in franchise history. Olejniczak was a prime mover in building the new City Stadium in 1957 (renamed "Lambeau Field" in 1965) and was instrumental in hiring New York Giants assistant Vince Lombardi in early 1959.[1]

Re-elected for the final time in May 1981,[9] Olejniczak resigned the following year on June 1, 1982. After serving over 24 years as Packers president, more than anyone in the team's history, he was succeeded by Robert J. Parins.[5] At that time, Olejniczak was named the first Packer Chairman of the Board and served in that role until 1989. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1979.[1]

He received the Knighthood of St. Gregory from Bishop Wycislo and an honorary doctorate of law degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere in 1986. He was the first lay President of Premontre High School (later Notre Dame de la Baie Academy).[5]

Death[edit]

Olejniczak died at age 80 at his home in Green Bay after suffering numerous strokes.[5][8] His funeral at St. Mary's of the Angels parish was filled to capacity,[10] and he is buried at Allouez Catholic Cemetery in Green Bay.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame bio page". packershalloffame.org. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  2. ^ Faust, Pete (April 17, 1989). "Packers' ex-boss is dead". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1C. 
  3. ^ Lea, Bud (April 17, 1989). "Top Packer official Olejniczak, 80, dies". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2. 
  4. ^ Lopresti, Mike (January 1, 2011). "Green Bay mayor put Packers on path to success". USA Today. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Mayors of Green Bay". 
  6. ^ "Olejniczak elected Packer exec. veep". Milwaukee Journal. December 24, 1957. p. 3, part 2. 
  7. ^ "All's quiet as Packers pick Olejniczak prexy". Milwaukee Sentinel. April 29, 1958. p. 2, part2. 
  8. ^ a b "Dominic Olejniczak, Sports Executive". The New York Times. April 17, 1989. 
  9. ^ Lea, Bud (May 5, 1981). "Olejniczak gets new term with Pack; role expanded". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2. 
  10. ^ "Church is full for Olejniczak funeral". Milwaukee Journal. April 19, 1989. p. 2C. 

External links[edit]