Class: Inducted: 2018
He was born Alexander Frances Wojciechowicz, Jr., but he was fondly known to friends and family as Wojie. As you’d expect of the son of one of the original Blocks of Granite who played for Fordham University, Wojie and his Pop-Pop followed their shared passion for football. A high school friend remembers him as a fierce competitor! He was "the hardest hitter on the team." But sports were only one of Wojie’s many loves. Whether it was ballooning, fishing, flying, skiing, travel or scuba diving, it didn’t matter to him as long as he was challenged and doing what he loved. Wherever he was and whatever he was doing, he is always surrounded by family and friends.
Born on August 19, 1938 to Katherine (nee Mallen) and Alexander Frances Wojciechowicz, Sr., Wojie spent his childhood growing up with gusto along with his siblings. He attended Wanamassa grade school and Asbury Park High School, where his athleticism gave his alma mater many pages in the local newspapers. He graduated from Asbury Park High School in 1956 and, after a gap year at The Lawrenceville School, he headed to Princeton University. It was during his sophomore year at college that Wojie found another love, a perky girl named Carol in a Cadillac convertible who became his soul mate and partner in crime.
From the gridiron to the classroom, Wojie was a competitor. He received a degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton and then on to Rutgers University for a Master’s degree in electrical engineering. He was a real rocket scientist and went to work for The Hercules Powder Company making solid-fuel rocket motors supplying the United States military as well as NASA.
Next Wojie started his own business, Alto, which originally made insulators for high voltage electricity distribution grids. But fate decided that they would change what they did. An avid boater, Wojie had a bad accident where he lost part of his finger. Dr. Carroll from New York was able to save most of the finger but most importantly while he was being treated, the doctor told him about colleagues who needed help designing devices to help make hearts function correctly. This was a challenge worthy of Wojie and Alto began developing the first of many life-saving instruments.
Alexander Frances Wojciechowicz lived a robust life, loving his wife Carol and his children with the gusto that was his hallmark. He was taken from his family and friends too soon but not before he touched many lives and made his hometown proud.