Frank Rossetter, master storyteller, philosopher, do-it-yourselfer, runner, cyclist, dog whisperer, teacher, son, father, husband, brother, cousin, mentor, friend, crossed the finish line of his life's most arduous race on Saturday, January 18, 2014.
Frank was born on April 27, 1943 in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Sarah Jeanette (Fraser) Rossetter and Dannie Frank Rossetter.
Frank grew up near Smith's Grove, Kentucky with his parents and his sister, Jenny, who survives. The Rossetters were a poor farming family who worked together to make it during tough times. Frank helped his mother can food and make soap. He hunted for rabbits with his father and learned farming, mechanics, and physics in the practical way. Frank was a natural born intellectual who thirsted for knowledge and understanding. He was curious from a young age and continued to hunt and search for answers until cancer robbed him of his beautiful mind.
As a young man Frank studied English at Western Kentucky University, earning a bachelor's degree in Education, and teaching at Western for two years while working on his Master of Arts in English. Frank taught English at Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU) before teaching and studying eighteenth-century British literature at the University of Florida at Gainesville. In 1972, Frank returned to Springfield, Missouri as an assistant professor of English at SMSU.
Frank married Barbara Shaw on January 7, 1978 and Barb survives.
Frank was a teacher. He was an inspiration, a mentor, and a friend to thousands of people. Teaching was truly his calling. He spent the majority of his years teaching at Marshfield High School, but he also taught at Ozarks Technical Community College and at Drury College.
Frank loved children, learning, dogs, reading, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Springfield Cardinals, the Kentucky Wildcats, New Orleans, his Honda hybrid, and spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and friends. Frank liked to name his cars, quote William Shakespeare or John Donne or Dante, drink a good beer, watch birds and basketball, and entertain friends. For many years he supported the Carter Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Kitchen, the Ozarks Food Harvest, and the Council of Churches of the Ozarks.
Frank touched the lives of literally thousands of people, changing them, inspiring them, pushing them to do and be as much as they could. Frank Rossetter was a hero. Maybe not the stereotypical hero, swinging in on a chandelier or popping up with a machine gun or wearing a cape, but he was every bit the hero to the kids and young adults he helped. His family feels fortunate to have known and loved this man and they hope that those who have been touched by Frank will go out and make the world a better place by being kind, generous, loving, and by thirsting for knowledge.
Frank was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Barb Shaw Rossetter, his children Eric Rossetter of Springfield, Alan Rossetter (Leslie) of Scottsville, Kentucky, Laura Clubb (J.P.) of Cape Girardeau, his grandchildren Elizabeth Clubb, Lorelai Clubb, Truman Clubb, Parker Rossetter, and Anna Rossetter, his sister Jenny Musen and her husband Jim, his sister-in-law Bobbie Bauer of Tucson, Arizona, brother-in-law Barry Shaw of Kerrville, Texas, his beloved dogs Sandi and King, and nieces, nephews, and cousins. Frank is also survived by the thousands of students whose lives he touched and changed. All of these survivors are a testament and legacy to the man, Frank Rossetter.
A celebration of life service will be held for Frank at Fraker Funeral Home in Marshfield on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. before the celebration of life.
Published in the News-Leader on Jan. 21, 2014