In Memoriam


Summit resident Edward S. 'Ted' Olcott has died; retired Port Authority director of planning and development was also very active in Summit government, groups

Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 2:22 PM -- Updated Saturday, May 12, 2012, 2:31 PM
By Independent Press

SUMMIT - Edward S. Olcott, known as Ted Olcott, died May 7, 2012 in Summit. He led a long and good life, and was well-beloved by many.

He must be thanked and noted for his deep dedication to his family and his long and selfless service to his community.

Ted was born on Jan. 30, 1926 in Glen Ridge. After matriculating at the Montclair Academy, he attended Yale University, graduating in the class of 1949 with a B.E. degree. His attendance at Yale was interrupted by a stint in the Army at the end of World War II which included service in the U.S. occupancy of post-war Germany.

Tedís first, and last, employer was the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He began as the supervisor of the bolt-tightening crew for the George Washington Bridge, and concluded his career in 1984 as the Port Authorityís director of planning and development. During that long career he ran the PATH system for a time, influenced the location and later development of the World Trade Center, helped with the design and implementation of the lower deck of the George Washington Bridge, lobbied for waste-burning energy generation, the creation of one-way tolls, and the establishment of dedicated commuter bus lanes through the Lincoln Tunnel, among many other projects. He had a pragmatic but also visionary sense of how the N.Y metropolitan area could work and dedicated his life to making that vision a reality.

A long-time resident of Summit (55 years!), he was the first chairman of the Summit Housing Authority in 1969; a Summit City Council member for many years; a member of the Summit Red Cross Executive Board; a member of the Overlook Hospital Board of Directors; and a deacon at Central Presbyterian Church. He lent his expertise and time to numerous other local charitable and governmental entities. Ted was particularly proud to have written a history of Summit, "20th Century Summit," which was published in 1998. The proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to the cityís centennial celebration fund. Ted was a prime example of the engaged public citizen.

Ted is survived by his wife, Marion Olcott; his children, Thomas Olcott and Nancy Olcott Fergoda; his grandchildren, Emily Olcott, Ben Olcott, Anna Olcott, Matthew Fergoda, and Millie Fergoda; and nine nieces and nephews. He will also be sorely missed by Marionís children, Barbara, Rob and Rick; and their families, all of whom had become a loving and important part of Tedís life.

The family suggests a donation in Tedís name and honor to the American Red Cross, Colonial Crossroads Chapter, at 695 Springfield Ave., Summit 07901.

Services: Memorial service at the Central Presbyterian Church, Summit, on June 1 at 2:30 p.m. All friends, colleagues, and Summit residents are invited to celebrate the life of this great man. His extended family would love to meet each and every one of you.

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