Nicholas Joseph Paithowskiwas born at Sarnia, Ontario, son of Michael Paithowski and Rosa (Doskevitch) Paithowski. He was a professional engineer, a star football player and a war hero. In 1936, he registered in Engineering at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and in that same year was voted the Most Valuable Player on the Queen’s junior football team. In the following three years he was a regular lineman on the senior team and in 1939 won the Johnny Evans Trophy as the Most Valuable Player as a lineman. In 1940 he graduated as a professional Civil Engineer, the only one of five children from a Ukrainian-Polish immigrant family to receive a university education.
In 1941, he played professional football as a member of theRegina Roughriders.
On 8 April 1942, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers and saw service in Britain and Northwest Europe. He was responsible for helping to build bridges with the Royal Canadian Engineers, from Normandy all the way to Holland. He usually refused to talk about his role in WW 2, but after his wife died he did mention to his children, one mission he was on, where he and only a few of his group survived. The USA military authorities recognized his distinguished service and bravery in Europe, and decorated him with theUSA Bronze Star.
For Nick Paithowski there was one shining moment, during WW 2, when he could forget the horrors of war. It happened on Sunday, February 13, 1944 in London England.
It was the'Tea Bowl' when American Army soldiers played football against Canadian army soldiers. The first half of the game was played by American rules. The second half was played by Canadian rules. It was played in front of a roaring crowd of over 30,000 in White City Stadium, London, England. The game was tied at the end of the first half but the Canadians won, with a last minute touchdown. The American Army requested a rematch but something called D-Day got in the way.
Although Nick Paithowski survived the horrors and dangers of WW2, he had a brother Mike Paithowski, who never returned from his war service. Mike, along with his shipmates were all drowned when his ship, HMCS Shawinigan, was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Newfoundland in November 1944.
After the end of WW 2, Nick Paithowski, played professional football with theHamilton Tiger Cats football team in Hamilton, Ontario. In later years Nick worked as a Civil Engineer for the Federal Department of Transport.
In 1984, he was inducted into theSarnia-Lambton Sports Hall of Fame and in 1987 was inducted into the Queen’s University Football Hall of Fame.
He married Effie Barbara Paul and they had two children; Joseph, and Janet. In honour of his father, his son Joseph established the"Paithowski Prize", which is awarded each year to the Queen’s University Engineering student, who displays the most enthusiasm, desire and improvement in academics, that Nick Paithowski exhibited in his football career at Queen’s.