After a wonderful day with family and friends, Mike Osiecki passed away suddenly on Sunday, October 13, 2013.
Born to Thaddeus and Vincentina Osiecki, Mike was raised in Middletown, CT, and attended Woodrow Wilson High School. After his graduation in 1978, Mike entered the Marine Corps and proudly served our nation for more than 10 years. For the past 25 years, Mike served the citizens of Middletown with the South Fire District and was actively involved in his community. He supported many local charities and was always available to lend a helping hand to friends and family.
Mike was pre-deceased by his parents and his aunt, Ann C. Fraulino. He is survived by his beloved Brenda Gaski, whom he called his "hun"; his brother and sister-in-law, Theodore and Terri Osiecki; his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Catherine Osiecki; and his sister and brother-in-law, Janet and John Milardo. Mike will be missed every day by his nieces: Kristin, Alyssa, Jennifer and Melissa. Mourning this loss will also be his grand-nieces and nephews: Ella, Maddie, Jack and Cristiano. Mike's extended family includes Mama Gaski; Lynn Gaski and her children, Chadd and Sarah; Scott Gaski and his girlfriend, Lucy, and Scott's children, Christa, Savanna, and Coral. Mike is also survived by his "best buddy"-Jack, his faithful Weimeraner.
Mike also leaves behind his fellow firefighters at South Fire District, who have lost a brother.
Mike began his firefighting service as a volunteer in 1977. On July 4, 1988, he became a career firefighter at Middletown's South Fire District, a job he loved until his death. His commitment to the unions that built and serve our country was fierce and lifelong. As a member of Middletown Local 1073 International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), he volunteered to be union steward for South Fire and took numerous classes on labor, health and safety issues. He served Local 1073 as Vice President and, when South Fire applied to form its own local chapter in 1998, Mike served as Local 3918 IAFF's first president. In addition, Mike was a prominent member of Mickey Millane's Fighting Third District of the IAFF; a member of the Executive Board of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters of Connecticut (UPFFA); and Sergeant-at-Arms at numerous IAFF conventions.
Mike's focus was the health and safety of all firefighters nationwide; he served as Chairman of the UPFFA Health & Safety Committee and as a member of the AFL-CIO Health & Safety Committee. He received a Political Activist Award in 2004 from the AFL-CIO for his outstanding work on behalf of union members. As a member of the Executive Board of IAFF 3918, Mike helped negotiate six contracts for the firefighters of South District. His other passion was Workers Memorial Day, and every year, he would attend events that supported the families of workers who lost their lives while doing their job.
Mike was an avid biker and tremendously enjoyed his second family at Yankee Harley-Davidson. He proudly served the Connecticut Patriot Guard and West Conn Hog (Harley Owners Group).
Mike was a wonderful cook, famous especially for his legendary ribs. He had a way with animals and kids, and all the children of his fellow firefighters and friends have special memories of being teased by Mike. He loved nothing more than spending time on Cape Cod with Brenda and Jack.
Anyone who knew Mike knew that his passion for life was contagious, and his personality was as big as the joy he brought into any room. In the words of one friend, "The only thing bigger than his mouth was his heart." He left us much too soon, and he will be sorely missed.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, October 17, from 2-8 p.m. at D'Angelo Funeral Home, 22 South Main Street, Middletown. The funeral will be held Friday, October 18, at 11 a.m., St. Sebastian's Church, 155 Washington Street, Middletown. Immediately following the mass, Mike will be laid to rest at St. Sebastian's Cemetery in Middletown. A reception will follow at the Middletown Elks Club, 44 Maynard Street, Middletown.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital, http://foundation.bridgeporthospital.org, 267 Grant Street, Bridgeport, CT 06610; Patriot Guard Riders of Connecticut, c/o Marcia Young, Treasurer, 8 Brenda Lane, Old Saybrook, CT 06475; or Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Published in The Middletown Press on Oct. 16, 2013