When Frank Pusavc died at the age of 86 in 2014, Forest Park lost the proprietor of one of the oldest businesses in the village. Pusavc (pronounced Poo-shouts) operated Frank’s Shoe Repair, 7235 Roosevelt Road, for nearly 60 years after taking over the business his grandfather started in 1915.
At Monday night’s meeting, the village council unanimously approved a resolution honoring the late businessman. Praising his skillfulness in the workshop and his “kind demeanor,” the resolution also dedicates Marengo Avenue between Roosevelt Road and Fillmore Street in his name. An unveiling ceremony of the sign, scheduled for Saturday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m., will officially christen that section of street as “Frank A. Pusavc Drive.”
Born in neighboring Oak Park, Pusavc was raised in the family’s Forest Park home on Marengo Avenue. An alumnus of St. Bernardine School and Proviso East High School, Pusavc served in the Marines after graduation. After an honorable discharge from the military, he married Darylene Louise Hatfield in 1953. In addition to maintaining the store, he and his wife raised their five children in Forest Park.
The family business was first situated at 1128 Elgin Ave. but later moved to the Roosevelt Road location. Frank opened a second shop at 7427 Madison Ave. in 1972, but eventually sold the property that now houses caffe De Luca. Michael Pusavc, Frank’s son, also helped run the shop. As the resolution states, for nearly 100 years, patrons relied on the shop’s variety of services, including shoe repairs, ice skate sharpening, lacing baseball gloves, dying ballet slippers and fixing broken zippers.
A few weeks after Pusavc’s death in the spring of 2014, Michael permanently closed down the business.
The resolution praises Pusavc’s “dedication to the community” and offers the Pusavc family “sincere gratitude” for Frank’s positive impact on Forest Park.
Speaking to the dozen or so Pusavc family members in attendance at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Anthony Calderone remarked, “I want you to know, speaking not only for myself, but for every other person in Forest Park and elsewhere, that whoever stepped into Frank’s Shoe Repair, I think they always had a pleasurable experience.”