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James Andrew Podlesni

March 5, 1947 May 26, 2015
James Andrew Podlesni
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Obituary for James Andrew Podlesni

James Andrew Podlesni, 68, of Green Bay, Virginia, passed away suddenly at home on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Jim was born on March 5, 1947 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to John and Mary Podlesni, and he grew up there, in Granada Hills, California, and in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

He studied Engineering and Psychology at Virginia Tech, and after graduating in 1969, he went on to earn his Master of Education degree from Bowling Green State University in 1973. He was fortunate to find his calling early, and “Mr. Pod” spent the next thirty years as a passionate and gifted educator, including more than twenty years teaching math to his “bright and shiny apples” at Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, Virginia, where he was instrumental in founding the International Baccalaureate Mathematics program. More than 97% of his AP and IB students earned college-credit-awarding scores, including two classes whose average scores were among the world’s highest, and he wrote an article on the role of technology in mathematics teaching that is still cited today. He was also a self-taught architect and contractor, who spent his down time designing and building twelve homes, always with a focus on energy efficiency, and the furniture within. He was a lifelong nutrition and fitness buff who, since retiring to Farmville in 2006, spent his time building the house here, exercising, watching football, and traveling with his beloved wife.

He is survived by his devoted wife of forty-two years, Cynthia, his daughter Julie and son-in-law Robert of Baltimore, MD, and his son Ted and daughter-in-law Andrea, of Greensboro, NC. He is also survived by his sister Mary (Richard) Gunteski, of Virginia Beach, VA; his brother John (Joy) Podlesni, of Orlando, FL; his half-brother Louis (Michelle) Podlesni, of Huntington Beach, CA; his stepbrother Jim Ferrari, of Orcutt, CA; and his stepbrother Thomas (Colleen) Ferrari, of Mill Creek, WA. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Podlesni, and his stepmother Barbara Podlesni.

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at the family residence beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 30th; additional details can be found at the website maintained by Puckett Funeral Home. Memorial donations can be made to the Southside SPCA (http://www.southsidespca.org) or a charity of your choice.

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