The city of Shelton lost a vital community member that helped it grow into what it has become today.
On Friday, June 15, longtime P&Z member and member of the Shelton Economic Development Corporation, Frank Osak died in Griffin Hospital in Derby at the age of 90.
While Osak’s passing is a sad loss for the entire community, according to Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, it should be grateful that he spent his life here in Shelton. Anglace worked with Osak in the engineering department at BF Goodrich Sponge products
“We may have grown up together in Derby but no one was more dedicated to Shelton’s future than him,” said Anglace. “Frank did an exemplary job while on Planning and Zoning, a true class act. Whether he was an employee or employer he was an amazing guy. It’s a tremendous honor to have known him and to have been a part of some of all of the things that he achieved.”
P&Z Commissioner Jimmy Tickey said Osak played a key role in the development of the city.
“Frank is regarded as a ‘founding father’ of the Route 8 corridor, and has always advocated for smart development, high end commercial and class-a offices along our main corridors, and beautiful residential zoning outside of those corridors,” Tickey said in a tribute to Osak at a ceremony to honor his life’s work last year.
Tickey said in Osak’s final years serving on the P&Z Commission he would often pick him up before heading to the meetings and ask for advice on zoning issues..
“I feel honored that I had the opportunity to serve with Frank on the Planning & Zoning Commission since 2013, especially at a time when were inundated with high-density residential development proposals along our main corridors, something Frank always cautioned against,” said Tickey. “Frank would just need to hear of a plot of land and he would be ready to share the history of it; he was a living encyclopedia of our city and its rich heritage. He was a straight talker, and his vision for our city established us for the success we see today. Frank always spoke of growth vs swelling: are we growing the city in a thoughtful manner, or are we swelling with dense residential development that is not helpful in our future? It is my hope the ideas he brought to the table all those years ago continue to guide Shelton.”
Anglace said Osak was a man who was more than willing to work across party lines, despite being affiliated with the Shelton Democratic party since 1962.
“His visions always included what was best for Shelton,” said Anglace. “He certainly impacted many people along the way and we’re all better off having known him. My condolences go out to his family, it’s a sad loss, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to have known him most of my life. We only come this way once, but Frank left his indelible mark on Shelton.”
During his final year as a P&Z alternate, Osak helped author the commission’s Plan of Conservation and Development and openly opposed the 121-acre mixed-use development called, “Towne Center at Shelter Ridge,” while in attendance of a year’s-worth of meetings.
On April 23, 2017, Osak was honored for his decades of service during a dinner at Vazzy’s Cucina on Bridgeport Avenue.
Osak served 57 years on the P&Z Commission, retired as chief executive officer of Derby Cellular Products, was affiliated with Griffin Hospital since 1966, served as Griffin Hospital trustee for numerous years after serving as second vice president, first vice president and chairman of the board. He is the husband of Navia Osak and the father of Michael Osak.
The family asks that donations be made to the Smilow Hospital Cancer Care Center, 350 Seymour Avenue, Derby, CT. 06418.