Theodore Minski: 1949-2023

Theodore “Ted” Minski, family man and respected figure of Ocean Beach, passed away in July at the age of 74, after several years of battling cancer. He passed at his home in Easley, South Carolina, surrounded by family. Ted made countless contributions to the Ocean Beach community throughout his lifetime including serving in various capacities with the Village of Ocean Beach and the Ocean Beach Fire Department (OBFD). Ted was also a loving father, grandfather, husband, and friend.

Ted Minski during his years as Chief of the Ocean Beach Fire Department in the 1970s. Photo by Warren McDowell.

Ted is survived by his wife, Nancy Minski; older brother, Michael Minski; son, Sean Minski; daughter, Samantha Sigelakis-Minski; granddaughter, Lillian (Lilly) Minski; daughter-in-law, Melissa Minski; son-in-law, Michael Williams; and numerous extended family members from Fire Island.

Ted Minski receiving a citation for Town of Islip for his decades of service with Ocean Beach Fire Department. He is flanked by OBFD Chief Ian Levine and Town Superintendent Angie Carpenter. Photo OBFD.

Born Theodore Frank Minski in Bay Shore on July 29, 1949, Ted grew up in Ocean Beach with his father, Thaddeus, and his mother, Lillian. He attended the Woodhull School in Ocean Beach for elementary school and graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1967. Ted received a scholarship to Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, and attended that school for a relatively short period before returning to Fire Island to start working in construction like his father.

Over the course of his career, Ted built numerous houses and other structures, including the extension of Ocean Beach’s post office, that are still standing today throughout Ocean Beach. All of this biographical information was shared with Fire Island News by Ted’s lifelong friend, Joseph Loeffler Jr., who emphasized Ted’s skill as a craftsman saying that “he could build anything.”

Loeffler added that Ted was a member of the OBFD for over 50 years and served the department in various capacities during that time. For instance, he was fire chief from 1975 to 1979 (according to his colleague and friend, Jonneigh Adrion, Ocean Beach village clerk). Ted was also one of Ocean Beach’s first EMTs and served in that capacity between 1996 and 1998. Loeffler further explained that Ted was instrumental in the construction of the new OBFD firehouse when he was assistant fire chief.

He only stepped down from duty as a full-time OBFD member when he moved to South Carolina with his wife for retirement. Ted also served in the Village of Ocean Beach in numerous other ways throughout his life including as foreman from 1984 to 1989 and as building inspector from 2005 to 2007 in a full-time capacity and a part-time capacity from 2016 to 2018 according, to Adrion.

“Teddy was one of the good guys,” said Ocean Beach Mayor James Mallott. “He’d give you the shirt off his back.” Mallot also praised Ted’s skill and work ethic in relation to the various jobs he worked in over the years, saying Ted always “did his job and did it well.”

Adrion said of Ted: “Teddy was a true gentleman, very smart and funny.” She also said that he loved his children and that “a treasured piece of Ocean Beach history will be gone forever with his passing.”