To talk to him, you’d never know that John Polikaitis, who works as a night custodian at Saddleback College, is 94 and a half years of age. The genial man appears to be much younger and is highly respected by his colleagues, who describe him as a thoughtful and humble man of great character. Mr. Polikaitis is retiring after 33 years of outstanding service to the college and was recognized at the June 25th Board of Trustees meeting, where we learned a little bit about his remarkable life.
Mr. Polikaitis certainly has an impressive story to tell. Prior to working at Saddleback College, where he started in 1979, Mr. Polikaitis spent more than 30 years as a firefighter with the Los Angeles City Fire Department. And before that, he served in the Navy during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
A resident of Anaheim, Mr. Polikaitis drives to work every day, sometimes sharing rides with a co-worker.
Regarding his time at Saddleback College, Mr. Polikaitis says, “I didn’t intend to stay longer than just a few years at Saddleback – I wanted to stay until my children graduated from college; but things change. I’ve liked working here and have had many good experiences and have made some good friends.”
Mr. Polikaitis also marveled at how the college has grown through the years, while the size of the custodial staff has remained virtually unchanged. He is impressed by his co-workers and the amount of work they do.
Mr. Polikaitis looks forward to some relaxation after his retirement, and is thinking about moving to San Diego to be closer to his kids. He has three children – two daughters and a son, who lives in Japan, and three grandchildren.
Congratulations to John Polikaitis, an extraordinary man who is loved by all who were lucky to know him.