On March 13, 2020 we lost a shining neighbor. David Dobosz was a teacher, church elder, and community activist for education, the environment, affordable housing, and a champion of the community’s diversity.
David was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 3, 1940. He moved to New York City after graduate school and began a several decades-long career in education. He taught at Martin Luther High School, the Freedom School at St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church, P.S. 150, P.S. 145, and finally the UFT Teacher Center. He retired from the Department of Education in October 2009.
After retirement and raising his three daughters, David had more time to dedicate to community action. In a previous Greenline interview David
said, “It was a gradual involvement. With kids and teaching there was not enough time.” Although while he was active in his career and helping to raise his family he had made time to regularly attended community and school board meetings. With more free time he finally had the chance to make a positive difference to counter the changes he’d been witnessing, “Seeing the negative effects on our family and the families of others”. He joined the front lines with his wife Patricia in the fight for more affordable housing and expanding education opportunities to those who are underserved in the community. He became a board member of St. Nicks Alliance and Martin Luther High School, and was a longstanding member of GREC, OUTRAGE, and UNO. As part of the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition David protested the rezoning the Rabsky-Pfizer lots, a rezoning which raised concerns about planned segregated and discriminatory housing by the developer. After a steady fight, which had its beginnings in 2009, they finally received a win when a settlement was reached in December 2017. David’s advocacy helped to make possible the future development of over 1,000 units of affordable housing now in the pipeline for North Brooklyn.
Mildred Tudy-Johnston was another inspiration for David’s activism. Ms. Tudy was a devoted teacher and activist for fairness, equality, child welfare and lived by the example of her motto, “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem!” For many years, David and his wife Patricia aided in the annual Kwanza celebration named after Ms. Tudy at St John the Evangelist.
David was a fabulous cook and loved foods of all ethnicities.
David Dobosz was one of the rare people who saw the value of whomever he was with, and at the same time openly conveyed this observation. This validation encouraged and inspired those to keep up the good work or even do better. David Dobosz made a difference on an individual level and on a community level. He will be missed.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Dobosz; daughters: Jeannette Montes, Kristina Dobosz, and Stephanie Dobosz; grandson, John Paul, Jr.; and his brother and sister, Paul & Martha Dobosz.