Longtime Westerville schools administrator Curt Jackowski lost his eight-year battle with cancer Sunday, July 20, succumbing to the disease at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital in Columbus. He was 48.
Jackowski was diagnosed with Islet cell carcinoma, a rare form of cancer associated with the pancreas, in 2006. And while his fight wasn't an easy one, those who spent time around him say he never wavered.
"Curt Jackowski was a dedicated employee and great friend to all who knew him," said Mark Hershiser, Westerville deputy superintendent. "He exemplified courage and tenacity throughout the duration of his lengthy illness, without ever having lost his wonderful sense of humor."
In his 15-year career with Westerville schools, Jackowski was the assistant principal of Walnut Springs and Heritage middle schools from 2000 to 2002; associate principal at Westerville North High School from 2002 to 2003; principal of North from 2003 to 2007; administrative project manager from 2007 to 2009; and executive director of human resources and labor relations from 2009 to 2014.
His long-term service won't soon be forgotten, Hershiser said.
"The positive impact he made on the Westerville City School District and the community he loved so dearly will be felt for many years to come," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his beloved family."
A 1984 graduate of West Carrollton High School, Jackowski earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University and his graduate degree from the University of Dayton.
Jackowski's career of giving to others mirrored his attitude toward his illness, said his sister, Ruth Woosley.
"He was always more concerned about others than himself," she said. "You knew that he was ill, at the time, because he had ups and downs and was in remission and out.
"But even in times when he wasn't in remission, you could ask him how he was feeling, and it was always, 'I'm doing great.' "
A Celebration of Life and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 313 N. State St. Interment will be at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, Jackowski's family requests that donations be made to the Curt Jackowski Memorial Scholarship Fund through Westerville City Schools.
Jackowski is survived by his wife of 25 years, Valerie Jackowski -- a teacher at the district's Cherrington Elementary School -- his children Grant, Morgan and Nate, granddaughter Emberlynn, sister Ruth (Bill) Woosley and brothers George and Paul Jackowski.
He also is survived by his stepmother, Karen, his sister- and brother-in-law Brad and Vanessa (Abby) Christian, niece Emily and nephews AJ, Seth and Luke.