New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell released the following statement on the passing of former Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz, Jr., who served as Mayor from 1998 to 2006:
“I was saddened to learn this morning of the sudden passing of former Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz, Jr., a dedicated public servant and a steadfast friend. Mayor Kalisz served as City Councilor for Ward 2 before his election as Mayor in 1997, eventually becoming New Bedford’s third-longest serving mayor.
Mayor Kalisz’s tenure was marked by an unwavering devotion to the City and its residents. He worked tirelessly to improve every city neighborhood, and strove over his four terms to activate the city’s potential. Among his many accomplishments, he established the New Bedford Economic Development Council in its current form, oversaw the construction of three state-of-the-art middle schools, created a new permanent home for SeaLab, renovated the Buttonwood Park Zoo, and led the resumption of ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard. All of these efforts paved the way for more progress thereafter. Mayor Kalisz poured his heart into the job, and New Bedford is the better for it.
After leaving office in 2006, he continued to serve others – earning a doctorate, leading the Parents Alliance for Catholic Education, and serving as Register of Deeds for Bristol County’s southern district since 2017. He also continued his lifelong commitment to volunteering at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the city’s only remaining ethnically Polish Catholic church.
I will miss Fred’s encouragement and support over the years, and I will miss our friendship. Ann and I offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife Pat, his son Ricky, and his many friends and family.
In observance of Mayor Kalisz’s passing, I have ordered the flags at all City buildings be flown at half-staff.” — Mayor Jon Mitchell