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Geoffrey Louis Rossano

FALLS VILLAGE — It is with great sadness that the family of Geoffrey Louis Rossano of Falls Village announces his death Friday, July 23, 2021, at the age of 72. 

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Louis and Margaret Rossano, and raised on Long Island, Rossano received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Medford, Mass., and his master’s and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught at Margaret McTernan School, worked as a New York State Senate staffer, and as a vice president for the Urban Development Corporation. In 1982 he returned to teaching at Salisbury School. With a focus on place-based history, his teaching style helped many Salisbury students realize history wasn’t just memorizing names and dates. He retired from the classroom in 2018, to serve as Salisbury School’s archivist and historian.

Throughout his teaching career, Rossano continued to work as a historian, working for the Connecticut State Historic Preservation office for whom he wrote “Built to Serve: Connecticut’s National Guard Armories.” He is the author of many articles on 18th-century Long Island, and the co-author, with Robert McKay, of “Between Ocean and Empire, An Illustrated History of Long Island.” Editor for “Historic Cherry Hill’s Creating a Dignified Past,” he subsequently edited the diaries of World War I aviators Kenneth MacLeish and David Ingalls, “The Price of Honor” (Naval Institute Press) and “Hero of an Angry Sky” (Ohio University Press) respectively. In 2010 he published “Stalking the U-Boat” (University Press of Florida), which won the 2010 Roosevelt Prize in Naval History. He also received the 2013 Arthur Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature. In 2014 he served as historian for the award-winning documentary “The Millionaire’s Unit” by Darroch Greer and Ron King.

A passionate lacrosse player, coach and scorekeeper, Rossano also loved sailing particularly in his boat the Kennebec. 

He was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret Rossano; his aunt, Laine Wayne; and his brother Mark Rossano. 

He is survived by his wife, Joan H. Baldwin; and two daughters, Margaret H. Rossano of South Royalton, Vt., and Chloe M. Rossano of Mancos, Colo.; his brother George Rossano and sister Lyn Rossano. 

A memorial service will take place at Salisbury School in the fall. 

Donations in his memory may be made to the annual fund designated for financial aid at Salisbury School, 251 Canaan Road, Salisbury, CT 06068 (www.salisburyschool.org/donate).

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