Albert Wanyo taught electronic fluidic technology at Johnson College for 27 years before he retired, and loved every minute of it. He talks about how the school was known as Johnson Tech when he started, and how the courses changed as computers were incorporated into the engineering curriculum. By the time he retired, his students were using computers that were exactly what they would be using in the industry, and he loved helping them learn.
His fondest memory was when Channel 16 contacted him to build a new, electronic tote board to display viewers’ contributions during the annual muscular dystrophy telethon. They designed the tote board, and each year Albert and his class would spend three days working the telethon. When asked if he still uses computers, he says, “no, when I retired, I gave it to my grandson. I had enough.”
Albert’s other passion was polka music. He was in a band called the Pennsylvania Polka Cats for 55 years. His son and grandson each play in polka bands now. There was a time when Albert still played when the three of them played onstage together, and it is one of his favorite memories. He’s so proud that they have carried on his tradition. He’s glad he can still watch polka shows on public television.
Albert lives in Moosic with his wife Ann Marie. They have a son and a daughter, who each have a son and a daughter and Albert loves to brag about his four beautiful grandchildren. Albert can no longer drive, and teasingly calls Ann Marie his chauffer. They go out to dinner and shopping, and he’s so glad he can live at home and get out often.
In 2006, Albert developed a wound on his foot that wouldn’t heal. That is when he met the Allied Services Home Health nurse who still treats him, Karen Gutowski. He insisted she be given credit in this story and made sure to spell out her name. “She saved my life so many times it’s unbelievable.”
Sometimes Karen needs to see Albert once or twice a week, when he’s doing well. Other times she visits daily, like when he had his toe amputated. Albert says, “If Karen wasn’t here, there is no way I’d be able to walk, to get around, or to live at home. She’s become like part of our family.”
Albert was recently hospitalized for problems with his foot at Allied’s rehab unit at the Regional Hospital of Scranton. He said the care was outstanding. The nurses and therapists treated him so well, that it made the six days there fly by. “I would tell anyone to go to Allied…they’re right on the ball!”