Dr. Victor Stanley Wojnar died at his home on February 15, 2005. He was 83.
He was a well-respected cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, a talented musician, an accomplished athlete, and a lobster aficionado.
Dr. Wojnar was born on April 5, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended medical school at Penn State. While studying there he was a member of the rowing crew team that won the national championships in 1945. Had the Olympics not been cancelled due to World War II, he would have gone on to compete with the U.S. Olympic rowing team.
Dr. Wojnar served as a medical officer and captain in the U.S. Army in Germany, 1947-49, then as chief of surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sunmount, N.Y., and later as assistant professor of surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.
From 1964 to 1968 he was head of the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Christie Clinic in Champaign, Illinois, and pioneered open heart surgery in the community.
During the 1970s he served as chief of surgical services at Veterans Hospital in Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he also held the position of associate professor of surgery at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. He resumed private practice in Champaign in 1976, while also serving as the Medical Director of the Mercy Hospital emergency room.
Victor loved to play music. He played a variety of musical instruments including the violin, viola, piano and accordion. He is fondly remembered for providing the musical accompaniment to the Christmas Carol family singers on Christmas Eve every year.
Later in his life he became an avid runner and swimmer and for years competed in the Senior Olympics at the state, regional, and national levels, for which he won numerous awards in both sports. He was an advocate of community projects of a historical nature, including restoration of the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, and was also a former president of the Torch Club, a group of retired professionals.
Dr. Wojnar is survived by his wife Marilyn Wojnar, daughter Debra (Michael) Cox, son Christopher (Mary) Wojnar, sister Florence Staszkiewicz, grandchildren Lisa (Josh) DeRosa, Mark Cox, Ruth Cox, Richard Wojnar, Charles Wojnar and Gina (Sejun) Wojnar.
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