A TRIBUTE TO OUR COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS WE’VE LOST –
THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO THEIR MEMORY
The members of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association are the organization’s greatest asset. On this page, APA Florida pays homage to those members we have lost this past year. These men and women have worked in the planning field and helped promote our profession. We honor them by remembering their legacy and contribution to making great communities in Florida. We cannot hope to sum up someone’s life in a short statement. Words fail to make sense of everything nor can they put into perspective everything that this person has stood for and accomplished during their time with us. Information provided on this page is intended to allow others to get a glimpse of the life of the person – one that anyone, even those who did not know the person, may understand.
For some strange reason, we seem to believe that the true mark of greatness involves the accomplishment of many great things. But the mark of greatness can be seen nonetheless in the accomplishment of not so great things. It’s so ordinary that it escapes our attention. And yet, it’s only when people, who have been near and dear to us, are gone, that we begin to look back and recognize that greatness in these people, only to sigh with regret that it’s only too late to appreciate the wonders that they have done.
It is not possible for the APA Florida Chapter Office to always know when a member has passed away. Therefore, we ask for your help in paying tribute to those former members on this page. Please contact the APA Florida office if you know a member that has passed away.
“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” – Rosa Parks
Oliver Kerr, FAICP (1940-2017)
APA Florida and the Gold Coast Section lost a good friend, consummate planner and compassionate community leader with the passing of Oliver Kerr, FAICP, on June 10, 2017. He was 77. Oliver retired in 2006 following a 32 year career with the Miami-Dade Planning Department as Demographic Section Supervisor.
Oliver, who was born in Armagh City, Ireland, arrived in Miami in 1964 as a Catholic priest at the Archdiocese of Miami. He worked at the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables for two years before attending Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C., where he studied education and administration. In 1964 he started a four-year post at St. Francis Xavier in Overtown where became involved in urban planning issues.
“The Overtown neighborhood was broken in those years with a great loss of housing from the construction of the I-95/I-395 interchange and the urban renewal/land clearing activities of the government. At that time, I lived above the St. Vincent de Paul salvage store on Miami Avenue and Eight Street and attempted with some success to get new housing built in and around the church.”
With Kerr’s leadership, 47 new town houses were constructed on Northeast 20th Street and Fifth Avenue in cooperation with three other churches in the area. Apartments followed. Along with other seminarians, Kerr helped run a summer arts and recreation program for Overtown children. “This was part of the community-building work that I loved,” he wrote.
It was in Overtown that he met Karen, who would become his first wife after leaving the priesthood. Oliver left the priesthood in 1971 and returned to Catholic University to obtain a Master degree in City and Regional Planning. While attending Catholic University, Oliver was a Research Associate at the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies. Oliver returned to Miami in 1973 and married Karen. They raised a family of five children – two of who they adopted. Oliver’s second wife, Mary Ann, died in 2015. Oliver was in the care of Karen at his passing.
“He was dedicated to his family, chosen profession, and committed to those ideals he held dear,” said Manuel Armada, his colleague of 30-years. “His ability to write and produce thorough, concise, clear, and easily understood reports was without equal. His extraordinary oratorical skills were legendary. Oliver could deliver a speech, on the spot, about almost any subject and mesmerize the audience. He attributed this skill to having kissed the Blarney Stone.”
Former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez named a day in honor of Oliver Kerr in 2006. The Miami New Times named Oliver as “Best Public Servant” in 2003. He was awarded the distinction of Fellow, American Institute of Certified Planners in part for his volunteer work in conducting prep courses for AICP candidates.
Oliver was an Orange Bowl ambassador who volunteered with the Human Services Coalition. In 2002, he joined the South Florida Emerald Society, which sponsors the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Coral Gables, and served as a two-term president.
Following his retirement from Miami-Dade in 2006, Olive taught at FIU Metropolitan Center. As a Senior Research Associate at FIU Oliver worked on planning and housing studies in cities and counties throughout SE Florida from Martin to Monroe Counties. In 2011, he was appointed to the Board of the South Miami-Dade Economic Development Council and worked with leadership in Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, and Pincrest to establish urban centers in these three young municipalities in South Miami-Dade County.
Oliver’s survivors include his children Michael, Daniel, Lea and Brian Kerr; grandchildren Madison, Ava and Erin; and five siblings. He was predeceased by his son Joseph and brother James.
Augie Fragala (April 4, 1945 – July 25, 2014)
APA Florida was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Augie Fragala. Augie Fragala had over 42 years of professional planning experience when he passed away on July 25, 2014 at Hospice House in Altamonte Springs following a four-year battle with Non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma.
Augie had an impressive resume with both public and private planning work. As a HUD Fellow, Augie was a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He was a tireless champion for extending the reach of the profession and increased public awareness of planning as evidenced by his prominent role in founding three of the current APA Florida Sections. Augie was born in Brooklyn, NY.
Augie studied Architectural Engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and received a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Northern Colorado in 1979. Augie began working for the City of Fairfax, VA in 1967 as a summer intern before holding a full time position there. He met and married his wife Louise, and after five years the couple moved to Cary, NC, where he became the first full-time Director of Community Development in 1972. Augie was hired by PBS&J in 1973 and relocated to Miami, FL. Both his children, Nikki and Trey were born in Miami before he settled his family in Miramar. As Project Manager, Augie directed and led such notable projects as the DRI analysis and approvals for the Miami Dolphins’ Joe Robbie Stadium and four Miami Metrorail stations.
While living in Miramar, he became active in politics, serving as campaign manager at the local, regional and state levels. He was a governor appointee to several commissions, particularly judicial nominating committees. Miramar recognized Augie for his civic and volunteer work by awarding him the Key to the City of Miramar. Augie served as the Assistant Resident Engineer and Office Engineer for the Miami/Dade County Transportation Agency from 1981 to 1984. He was hired by Keith & Schnars, P.A. as Planning Manager before moving to Lakeland in 1988 to open his own planning firm with his wife: Powell, Fragala and Associates, Inc. (PFA). Their projects included the 3,200 acre West Lakeland Development, High Speed Rail Planning & Public Outreach through 27 Florida counties. PFA was FDOT’s Public Information Officer for the I-4 expansion through Polk County. Augie continued his civic work in Lakeland, which included serving on the Polk County Planning Commission for 8 years, including Chairman for four years.
He is survived by his wife of forty-three years, Louise, and their two children, Nikki and Trey, son-in-law Michael Barnes, and daughter-in-law Marisa Salazar Fragala. He had five grandsons: Caleb Isaiah, Laurence Michael, James Augustine, Dominic Peter, and Nicholas Fragala. He is also survived by siblings Kathy Muzyka and Mike Fragala and nephew Chris Muzyka.
Dan served as director of planning for the city of West Palm Beach from 1999-2003 and led the effort of implementing Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company’s Downtown Revitalization Master Plan. Prior to this post, he served as director of planning for the South Florida Water Management District from 1994-2003. There he helped manage the Everglades Restoration Plan to successfully address the complexities of urban and environmental planning in the most ecologically complex watershed in the world.
Under his leadership as executive director of The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council from 1985-1994, TCRPC earned a national reputation as an innovative leader in growth management and environmental policy development and implementation. The Council was first to develop regional wetland and upland preservation policies and lead the nation and Florida in the implementation and promotion of new urbanism and smart growth development approaches. The organization and methodologies developed during Cary’s tenure have continued intact to this day. In 2005, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council was awarded the first ever John Nolen Medal for contributions to new urbanism in Florida.
A resident of Sewell’s Point, Dan died after a 10-year battle with leukemia. He is survived by his wife, Meriliz, and his children, Arthur and Lia.
Kevin Tyjeski, AICP, CNU, LEED-AP (1959-2013)
APA Florida and the Orlando Metro Section lost a dedicated member in 2013 with the death of Kevin Tyjeski.
Before joining the City of Orlando, Kevin worked in both the public and private sector in Wisconsin and Florida, including Donohue Engineers & Architects in Madison, the City of Ormond Beach, and Universal Studios Florida in project development.
Beginning with the City in 1995 as Chief Planner for the Comprehensive Planning Division, Kevin led the effort which resulted in Orlando being designated a “Certified Community” under the Local Government Comprehensive Planning Certification Program. The City, through Kevin’s deft guidance, has maintained its Certified status to this day.
Kevin became City Planning Manager in 2003, overseeing all major development proposals in Orlando, ensuring that they remained true to the City’s Vision. In this role, Kevin was intimately involved in establishing and enforcing the policies and development guidelines for Orlando’s Baldwin Park, one of the best and most successful new urban developments in Florida, and perhaps the nation. It has been visited and studied as a model for large scale, mixed-use, walkable communities by planning, development and urban design experts from the United States, Great Britain, Australia and Canada. Kevin obliged all requests for tours and freely provided his in-depth analysis to both students and interested design professionals of what worked well, what did not work so well, and what could have been done better. Kevin had been writing a history of the development of Baldwin Park from its early days as the Orlando Naval Training Center, though the base closure and redevelopment process including the last 10 years of implementation.
Kevin was promoted to Deputy Economic Development Director in 2011. Even as Deputy Director, Kevin remained intimately involved in developments that would reshape the City. Because of his perpetually calm demeanor and extensive real-world knowledge of what works and what does not work, he was able to educate citizens, public officials and developers into like-mindedness regarding project principles, strategies and design implementation.
Kevin was passionate about city planning and in particular the new urbanism. In the early 2000s, Kevin, along with several other local planners and designers, began holding monthly discussions regarding creation of a local chapter of the Congress of the New Urbanism (CNU). These meetings led to Florida becoming the first State Chapter of CNU in 2003. The first three State Chapter conferences were held at Rollins College, 2005-2007. The local “Orlando regional section” still meets monthly to learn about local projects and trends in new urbanism. He was a regular attendee and presenter at Florida Chapter and national APA conferences, and he served on our Chapter Legislative Policy committee from 2006 through 2010.
Kevin served on graduate advisory boards for the University of Central Florida, Rollins College and the University of Wisconsin. From 2002 through 2011, Kevin served as an adjunct professor at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, teaching community planning and design, and his efforts helped in the creation of Rollin’s Master of Civic Urbanism program. Upon hearing of Kevin’s passing, Rollins’ Dr. Bruce Stephenson wrote, “Kevin was a great teacher, instilling neophytes with the idealism and skill to envision a world that was safer, more sustainable, and beautiful.”
Kevin graduated from Iowa State University, BS, CRP, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MS, URP and Rollins College, MBA.
Kevin was a devoted husband to his wife Patricia (“Pat”), also a professional planner with Littlejohn Engineering (Kevin and Pat met in Ormond Beach, where they were both city planners), and father of two beautiful and talented boys, Nico, and Andres.. His family would no doubt admit that his life’s passion was planning and good urban design, often to the chagrin of his sons. Kevin’s family would no doubt admit that his life’s passion was planning and good urban design, often to the chagrin of his sons. Kevin’s family vacations included time for photography of buildings, streets, sidewalks, open space, parks, and “third places” that portrayed examples of good and not so good community planning and design. Kevin truly enjoyed sharing “third place” experiences with friends, family and colleagues.
If Kevin were to impart his key to making communities better it would be: Establish a Vision with sound, community-based guidelines. Stick to the Vision and pay attention to detail. Be careful, but not too careful, because creativity often just happens.
Sam Casella, FAICP (Nov. 5, 1944 – Feb. 18, 2014)
Sam Casella, FAICP, made major contributions to the practice of planning. With over 45 years of planning experience, Sam had a passion for planning, not only in Florida but nationally and in later years he engaged international planning issues. Sam worked in both public and private sector planning, including President of Casella and Associates from 1983 to 1996 and Principal/President at The Planning Authority, LLC beginning in 2001. Sam was a licensed Professional Planner (PP) in the State of New Jersey. Sam served as President of APA from 1993 to 1995, AICP President from 2001 to 2003 and the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of the American Planning Association from 1997 to 2002. He was inducted into the AICP College of Fellows in 1999. As APA President Sam displayed dedication to social equity and the advancement of planning ethics. He served as “Planner in Residence” at Florida State University from 1996 to 2001, which involved teaching, directing the graduate studio program and supervising a variety of consulting projects for the Florida Planning Lab. Sam began his international planning work in 2000 with a focus on China. He served on an advisory committee to the International Association for China Planning and cooperated on a wide variety of strategic issues in China as an advisor, speaker, and consultant with ministries, universities, local governments and planning institutions.
Examples of his urban planning work include comprehensive planning, land development regulations, urban regeneration, economic development programs, tax increment financing, sustainable development practices and historic preservation. Sam displayed great communication skills and shared a keen sense of humor that many of his friends and colleagues will miss. Sam’s FAICP summary states, “Sam Casella epitomizes the practitioner who aspires to serve the public interest in every arena.”
Sam held a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Long Island University and a Master of Urban Planning degree from Hunter College. In addition to several leadership awards from APA, Sam received the Donald Sullivan Urban Leadership Award from the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College in 1995. Sam is survived by his wife, Xiaovun, a daughter, Chloe House and two sons, Sam H. Casella and Alex Casella.
Richard “Dick” Prosser, FAICP
The First Coast Section lost of one of Northeast Florida’s pioneers of planning and biggest advocate for APA. Richard “Dick” Prosser, FAICP passed away October 21 after a long, brave struggle against Alzheimer’s disease. Our organization and our profession are unquestionably better off having been influenced by Dick’s talent for comprehensive planning, innovative and sustainable approaches to design, conscientious consensus building, and boundless support for lifelong learning and professional development. Many of us are better planners today having had the fortune of his wise counsel, practical advice, good humor, and encouragement to always dream big.
Don Kelly (Sept. 10, 1958- June 25, 2013)
APA Florida and the Emerald Coast Section lost a dedicated member and Legislative Policy Committee representative in 2013. After a hard-fought battle with cancer, Don Kelly, 54, retired senior urban planner with the City of Pensacola, died at his home in Pensacola, FL on June 25, 2013. One of Don’s last accomplishments for the City of Pensacola was his submission of Palafox Street to APA Great Places in America, Great Streets Awards Program. Palafox Street being named one of the 2013 Great Places in America is now a wonderful tribute to Don and his dedication to planning.
Born in Memphis, TN, September 10, 1958, Don was the oldest child in his family. He lived his life with honor, remaining steadfast to the highest of principles; he was an Eagle Scout, officer in the United States Marine Corps, little league coach, scout leader, elementary school mentor, music lover and dedicated volunteer for Evenings in Olde Seville Square, steward of the environment, and strong advocate for historic preservation. Most of all, however, he was a devoted husband and father. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of his three sons.
Don is survived by his wife of 28 years, Brenda; sons, Matthew, Brendan, and Kevin; his mother, Zula S. Kelly of Stone Mountain, GA; his father, Major Thomas J. Kelly, USMC retired (Karen Lea) of St. Georges, DE; his siblings, brother, Ken (Wendy) of Hockessin, DE; brother, Ron (Paula) of Hebron, KY; sister, Kathryn (Anna) of Tucker, GA; and a large extended family, including father and mother-in-law, Tom and Diane Kane; sisters and brothers-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews.
APA Florida was very saddened to learn of the unexpected death of James L “Jim” Quinn on June 8, 2013.
Jim Quinn of Tallahassee passed away unexpectedly on June 8, 2013 while vacationing in Seneca, SC. Jim was born in Ft. Ord, California and lived in many places around the world while his father served in the U.S. Army. He attended the University of Mississippi where he earned two degrees: Bachelor’s in Education and Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. He was a member of Delta Gamma Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and several honorary organizations.
Jim’s first planning job was in the City of Titusville as city planner for two years. He then spent over three decades with the State of Florida in Tallahassee as environmental planner and administrator with the Departments of Community Affairs and Environmental Protection. Jim spent many years dealing with the issues associated with state Areas of Critical State Concern and particularly with the Florida Keys. His skills as a collaborator, problem-solver and consensus builder served him well in bringing forth solutions that made Florida a better place.
All of Florida has benefited from his dedication and staunch support in the long-term interests of Florida. His work in planning and commitment to preservation of wild Florida touches the lives of even those who never met him. Never pretentious, he had a sense of justice and an understanding of the real world.
Thankfully, his wisdom was shared with all who knew him. Jim’s knowledge, character and humor led him to become a mentor to many of those around him. He never wavered in his beliefs and inspired those around him to strive to do more to protect Florida. Jim was a gentle soul, who lead with a quiet commitment that was infectious. He had a smile, an ear to listen with and a piece of chocolate for when you really needed it.
Jim served the planning profession and APA Florida for many years. Marty, his wife, served as the APA Florida administrative assistant/bookkeeper for over five years. Jim was always at her side volunteering at the annual conferences; when Marty retired, the two of them continued to volunteer to help as needed. He was also a great friend to the FSU Department of Urban and Regional Planning, serving as a student mentor and helping guide young professionals as they started their careers.
Bob Dylan said it best when he sang, “You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.”