Former Community Board 15 Chair Passes Away

Jeremiah “Jerry” O’Shea, the former chairperson of Community Board 15, died on Sunday. In addition to his role on the Community Board, where he was also treasurer for 15 years, O’Shea served as director of the Brooklyn Housing and Family Services for 26 years, a tenants rights group originally founded by Marty Markowitz as the Flatbush Tenants Council.  He was also a member of the Housing Court Advisory Council, which interviews judges seeking court appointment or requesting a renewal of their terms.

To mark his passing, we’ve asked current chairperson Theresa Scavo to write a few words in remembrance:

In 2004, Community Board 15 lost most of it’s credibility with inner fighting about the District Manager selection process. Every Board Member was asked for a letter of resignation that year by every Elected Official. This was an unprecedented move in the 30 years that Community Boards have existed. The Board was split with all the fighting.
Jerry stepped up with new ideas to join the Board and in June 2004, Jerry was elected the new Chairperson of Community Board 15.
Jerry was determined to make the Board whole again. Under his leadership, the downzoning process was undertaken and Jerry worked feverishly until he suffered a stroke in 2005.
At that time, I was serving as Vice-Chair of the Board, and began running many of the meetings. The day to day operations were handled by the District Manager and the various meetings were managed by me.
Jerry began getting better and while in rehab at Crown Nursing Home, we, the Executive Board of CB15 had several meeting at Crown.
Jerry never really recuperated from that incident.
In June 2006, Jerry decided not to seek re-election of Chair at CB15.
To those of us that knew Jerry, we remember the man with the burly beard who had the raspy voice.
Jerry will be sorely missed by all at Community Board 15

The wake is for Friday, November 19, at the Marine Park Funeral Home at Quentin Road between Marine Parkway and East 31st Street, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral is at St. Brenden’s, East 12th Street and Avenue O, on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

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