Louis Rotello (1922 - 2014)

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Rotello, Louis A.
Lou Rotello, a teacher and real estate developer and long time member of the Danbury Board of Education, died on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at Danbury Hospital. He was 91 years old and had been in declining health for several years. Louis Anthony Rotello was born in Danbury on July 24, 1922, to Luigi and Costantina Gabriele Rotello, who had emigrated from Calabria, Italy earlier in the century. Along with his brother Joseph and sisters Mary (Gillotti), Josephine (Merante), Teresa (Lasher) and Louise (Friedman), he grew up over the Rotello family grocery store on Liberty Street where he developed his lifelong love of Italian food and culture. After graduating from Danbury High School in 1941 he attended Saint Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT, leaving during WWII and becoming a chaplain's assistant aboard the USS Boxer, the aircraft carrier and flagship of the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. After the war he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in history, graduating from Fairfield University's very first class in 1951. He became a school teacher, teaching social studies and history first in Monroe and then in Weston, where he remained for over 30 years, becoming head of the department until he retired in the 1980's. For many years he also ran a summer business selling fruits and vegetables to the residents of vacation homes at Ball Pond, Putnam Lake and Lake Carmel, where he was affectionately known as Louie the Vegetable Man. He discontinued that business in the late 1960s. A licensed realtor, he had many other enterprises, from growing Christmas trees to buying and renovating older homes in the city center. Mr. Rotello married Christine Adams of Danbury in 1948. They had three sons, living most of their lives on Pleasant Street. They became avid and adventurous travelers, frequently trekking through places such as Tuscany, Calabria, France, Greece, and the English countryside. At one point they developed a business importing knitted goods from small villages in Portugal. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in December. Mr. Rotello was an active member of the Democratic Party, served for many years on its Town Committee, and served on the Danbury Parks and Recreation Commission, the Common Council, the Board of Education, and in many other capacities in Danbury civic life. He became a Connecticut Certified Master Gardener and received much notice for the remarkable bounty of both his flower and vegetable gardens. An article in the News Times in the 90s noted that he had some of the northernmost lemon and fig trees in the region that actually bear fruit. He was also a well known cook and advocate of Italian cuisine. Each year he would make, among other things, hundreds of pounds of a dried Italian sausage called sopprasatta according to an old Calabrian recipe, which he cured in his own smoke house. Louis Rotello is survived by his wife Christine, and by three sons: Gregory, an inventor and artist in Ridgefield; Gabriel, a television writer and director in Los Angeles; and Paul, a property manager and member of the City Council in Danbury; as well as many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the , www.alz.org. Friends may call at the Green Funeral Home, 57 Main St., Danbury, CT, on Monday, March 17, 2014 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm where a funeral service will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 11:00am. Interment will follow at Center Cemetery, Bethel, CT. To sign a book of remembrance please visit www.thegreenfuneralhome.com.

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Published in News Times on Mar. 14, 2014
Louis A. Rotello
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www.thegreenfuneralhome.com.
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Green Funeral Home
57 Main St | Danbury, CT 06810 | (203) 748-2131
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