“To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” – William Londen
I asked George Boziwick the secret to his longevity and good health — “stay busy, keep moving and make sure your mind is active.” At 98 years old, Mr. Boziwick continues to work full time from home for his own company. “My son Richard is now the president, but I gave myself the title of chief financial officer. I consult by telephone and computer and oversee the company’s finances.” Mr. Boziwick also manages to fit in a couple rounds of golf at Noyac Golf Course each week. He walks, is a weight lifter and still maintains an active role in his company and his community. There is a certain precision and clarity in the way Mr. Boziwick speaks that exudes confidence and conviction. His home is warm and inviting; filled with books, paintings and photos of a full and wonderful life.
Mr. Boziwick was born in Sag Harbor in 1920. His mother and father were both from Croatia, but they met and married in Sag Harbor. Mr. Boziwick grew up in Sag Harbor and remembers going to Saint Andrew Roman Catholic school when it was a four-room schoolhouse located in what is now St. Andrew Parish Hall. He graduated from Pierson High School in 1937. Mr. Boziwick recalls sneaking into the grain building on Bay Street and sliding down the grain slide with his buddy Billy Kiselyak. On snowy winter days, Mr. Boziwick remembers sledding down Pierson Hill. “We used to go ice skating on Otter Pond. There was a set of gates where the bridge is. They would close them off, and the pond would freeze. I also remember the trains coming into Sag Harbor. There were two sets of tracks: one led to the storage building (now the Sag Harbor Garden Center) and the other set led to the depot which is where the Post Office now stands. I remember when they disbanded all of the steam trains and just had a gas driven passenger car come into the village on the tracks. And the bridge to North Haven used to be a drawbridge. It wasn’t as tall as it is today.”
Like many of Sag Harbor’s residents, Mr. Boziwick worked in the Bulova Watchcase Factory. “One of my most outstanding memories is the day of the Hurricane of ’38. I was at work in Bulova; it started out as a nice day. Then people began to complain about the wind, and the rain really came down. They shut everything down. Herby Held and I walked home with trees falling down all around us, and tin roofs blowing about. It was kind of scary. Muriel Lyons was home sick that day and from her window she saw the steeple sheer off of the Old Whalers Church. After it was over, there were no power saws for the cleanup, just two-man saws cutting back the fallen trees to make room for automobiles and people to pass. There used to be a lot of chestnut trees then; now most of them are gone.”
Mr. Boziwick remembers when Sag Harbor “was a sleepy town, and eventually it grew. People started to hear about it, and people began building and renovating everywhere. During the Depression, there was no money here and no work. No one had money to build or renovate. People got by doing whatever they could: gardening, caddying. There were lots of grocery stores, but many people couldn’t afford to buy food. In 1932 my mother bought our house on Main Street for $1,000.”
In 1940, Mr. Boziwick enlisted in the Navy and became an aviation radio technician, mostly serving in Panama. “We installed and cared for all of the radio equipment on the aircraft.” Mr. Boziwick proudly served in the Navy for five years. In 1945, he met his soon to be wife, Jean Kuch, at the roller skating rink, which used to be near the movie theater in Southampton. They married and had four children: Bruce, Richard, George Jr. and Kathleen.
“I went to Clarkson College right after the Navy and became ‘a double E’- ‘electrical engineer’. I moved to New Hyde Park and later Great Neck to find a position in my field.” Mr. Boziwick and Jean raised their children in Nassau County but spent summers in Sag Harbor. “She and I moved back to Sag Harbor full time in 1990. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1995”
Though Mr. Boziwick has continued to work full time, he also has had time to devote to the American Legion Post 388; “I was the financial officer for about 14 years, and I’m still active there.” George also attends Mass at Saint Andrew Roman Catholic Church every Sunday where he continues to be a lector. He has been an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Boziwick and his son Richard both attended Clarkson and recently attended a college reunion there. “I was the only person there from the class of 1948.”
Even though Sag Harbor has changed quite a bit over the years, it remains a place close to Mr. Boziwick’s heart and a wonderful place to call “Home.” “I love it here; I’m not sure why. Maybe because I was born here.” Standing straight and tall, engaged and active in business, family, and community, playing golf even as he approaches his 100th year, Mr. Boziwick lives a life that can inspire all of us to -“stay busy, keep moving and make sure our minds are active.”