Brunswick Area Historical Society - 4613 Laurel Road, PO Box 714 - Brunswick, OH  44212 - email -

'50s newcomers saw area evolve: BRUNSWICK AT 50

 By 'Sam' Boyer, Sun News


One of a series on the early days and development of Brunswick and Brunswick Township, celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year.

Ollie Schell and Jean Bosak have been friends and active members of the community since arriving in Brunswick in the late 1950s.

One of a series on the early days and development of Brunswick and Brunswick Township, celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year.

They’re great-grandmothers now, but when Oliveen Schell and Regina Bosak (“Ollie” and “Jean” to their friends) moved to Brunswick, they were young mothers.

Ollie moved in March of 1956 and the first night they spent in their home on East Drive, their furnace caught fire. “I had to run electric heaters until a new furnace was installed,” she said, noting that the fire chief, Carl Zimmerman, insisted on R.A. Gall putting in the new furnace by condemning the house. Both her children, Ken and Rick, were in school and her mother watched them because she was working at A&P and husband, Jim, worked at Chevy.

Ironically, when the moved, they moved into another Brunswick home built by R.A. Gall — this time with better results.

Jean and her family moved onto Harvard Drive, where they still live, in January 1957, her daughter, Kathyann’s fourth birthday. She and husband Phil also had a son, Greg, and later, daughter Lisa.

While the Schells had a septic tank and well water, the Bosaks lived on a street that had a county sewer, hooked up to a “package plant” nearby and community water that served the area from three wells behind the high school (now Edwards Middle School.)

Ollie went on to work at Country Counter, retiring in 1985. Son Rick, who served on the school board, died in an airplane crash in 1994. Jim then passed away. Ken is a manager at Heinen’s in Strongsville. Now that Ollie doesn’t drive, she and Jean are often together.

Jean and Phil were active in volunteer work almost from the day they moved in.

“The first thing I did was collect door-to-door for the March of Dimes and then the American Heart Association,” Bosak said. They were charter members at St. Ambrose and in 1962, Jean was president of the Women’s Guild and has worked on Bingo night since it began. She also served on Parish Council for nine years. “I couldn’t go to their 50th anniversary celebration because I had broken my hip,” she said, adding with a laugh, “Everything’s gone to pot since I turned 80.”

Both were active in Little League and helped build what is now Mooney Field. In 1976, Mayor Judy Beadell asked her to be the city’s representative to the Medina County Older Adults board and she is the only original member remaining.

Since Phil was a veteran, Jean became involved in VFW and still is active with the auxiliary. She always helps put on dinners at both the VFW and St. Ambrose. Now that includes the free community dinners at the church.

Both Phil and Jean served on city council, Phil for six years. When he retired, she ran and won.

One thing Jean’s very involved in is the knitting and crochet group at the recreation center. She’s there every Wednesday with a group led by Jeanette Klaus. The items they make go to meet a variety of needs for layettes, other baby items, nursing homes, veterans and more. She packages and delivers them.

“We are always looking for donations of yarn,” she emphasized. “Be sure you tell people to drop it off at the recreation center and tell them it’s for the knitting and crocheting group.”

Both women have interesting family “numbers.” Ollie had two children, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Jean has three children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Both have mixed feelings about Brunswick then and now. They liked it when everyone knew every other person who was really involved in the community. But now it also has a lot more conveniences, requiring less mileage.

“I like it,” Jean said. “All my friends are here.”

Ollie agreed, except she noted, “Many of the people I know are in nursing homes.”

She doesn’t drive and so she happily goes along with Jean on her many volunteer adventures.

The ladies really represent the mid-’50s “newcomers” who helped make Brunswick what it is today.