Natalie E. "Penny" Rosel
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Rosel, Natalie E. "Penny"
Mar. 18, 1944 - Oct. 11, 2013
Natalie (Penny) Rosel died peacefully Oct. 11, 2013, after an almost two year battle with cancer. She was 69. Penny was born March 18, 1944, in Long Island, NY, and came to Sarasota in 1971 when she began her career at New College. A beloved and respected faculty member for 34 years, she retired in 2005.
"Penny's dedication to New College was enormous, and those of us who had the privilege of working with her will recall her kindness, her intelligence, and her generous spirit," said Provost Stephen Miles.
For more than 30 years Penny ably anchored and guided the discipline of Sociology at the College. Former students still marvel at the enduring impact of her courses. She was the faculty sponsor for 121 senior theses during her tenure and many of her students worked with elders in the Sarasota community. Her humility was exceeded only by the difference she made in the lives of her students.
Penny published professional papers on topics ranging from "Doing for Others: A Neighborhood Support Network," to "Toward a Social Theory of Dying." Penny was a member of the American Sociological Association, the American Gerontological Association, Delta Society and the American Society on Aging. She obtained her Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate in Sociology from Indiana University (1966- 1971.) Her dissertation topic was "Self-Concepts of Institutionalized Older People."
Penny was always one to walk the talk and spent her retirement years volunteering for Hospice, Habitat for Humanity and Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Survivors include a cousin, Sally Payne of Marion, MA, and many co-workers, co-volunteers, former students and neighbors that will miss her dearly.
A time and place for a Celebration of Life will be announced in the near future. Gulf Coast Cremations is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to the Sarasota County Humane Society, 2331 15th St, Sarasota, FL 34237.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Herald Tribune from Oct. 16 to Oct. 17, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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25 entries
January 24, 2015
Miss you, Penny
Louise Barrett
January 22, 2015
Island home school projects Philippines
She was very inspiring and feel great pain brain and soul - she offered colleague/ student balance and wit..just learned lose as been marooned social research away islands.. Prof you will be missed!
V Viqueira
October 11, 2014
It's been a year today, and I still miss her. Thinking of you, Penny; today & everyday.
Dave Chakraverty
March 10, 2014
My first academic advisor at New College and a source of guidance and support even after that, I can still distinctly remember Penny's voice and friendly manner while teaching classes and catching up with me in her office. She was a light and a mentor during a difficult and transitional period of my life and I've always carried the lessons I've learned from her. Very sad to have learned of her passing just now, but I know that her wonderful spirit lives on with those of us who were fortunate enough to know her.
Joel Mann
March 1, 2014
For those of us who may be just learning from nimbus of this loss to the world I have restarted this guest book for a year. I may add one of my many pictures soon. Thanks to those who wrote so beautifully before.
November 12, 2013
Penny introduced herself to me as Natalie one very early morning several years ago while we both waited for the HealthPlex gym to open. We were both very disciplined about our exercise routine, she was a swimmer, I a runner. Our freindship grew over the years, yes waiting in the wee hours of the morning. We shared stories about everything, she was always interested in my grandchildren's adventures. When she could no longer get to the gym we met several times for coffee during her illness. The last time we met I knew it was for her to say good bye. She truly touched my life I will miss our chats, but I'm sure she is chatting with the angels.
Elizabeth Owen
November 9, 2013
Penny was my first (and only) academic advisor at New College. She had a tremendous passion for what she taught, and lived that passion in her non-academic pursuits. I met her when I was a very naive seventeen-year-old, and quickly learned that this college business was serious stuff, and that Penny wouldn't accept anything less than my best. I learned how to be a student of life from Penny. Her passing is a reminder that I need to try to live up to her fine example as a human being.
Bettyann Heinsohn
November 7, 2013
22 years later, with only a single class with Dr. Rosel, I still distinctly remember her voice and the things she told us.
Leigh Braslow
November 3, 2013
We raised guide dogs with Penny and I remember her as a caring and supportive person. She worked tirelessly with an Australian Shepherd that was a handful. We also had an excitable and frisky dog that was a lot of work and she was very supportive of our efforts. A classy lady all around.
Carolyn Hoe
November 2, 2013
In the early 1970's, when Dr. Rosel arrived at NC, as a young professor, she brought class and wisdom well beyond her years, to her new a student, I never studied with her, but learned much from her; in my memories of New College, Penny is among the best of the best. She is someone worth living for, simply to have known.
Chris Van Dyk
October 31, 2013
Dr Natalie (Penny) Rosel, 1979
October 29, 2013
I think of Penny often. She took our education seriously with a certain kindness and sincerity. From that, we students found ourselves appreciating points that may otherwise have been missed. She is one of the people that you meet and grow to love when you are young, expecting that there will be others just like her in your future. I know now that she was a rare gift. I'm glad she was a part of my life, and know that the impact she had on me is shared by many. She was unique and I miss her, but hopefully we can carry and share her spirit.
David Savarese
October 27, 2013
In my estimation, Penny was the model of an influential professor. She had knowledge, insight, wisdom of experience, and an abundance of caring for her students and others, while still challenging you to find another level, another gear. Her energy and enthusiasm was infectious, epitomized in her broad smile, even as she kept her humble distance and her austere lifestyle. She dug even deeper into her well of all of the above traits, combined with infinite patience and good humor, to coax the most out of my limited academic skills and paltry motivation so that I could eke out a degree – I am proud to be one of the 121 (circa 1981) who worked with her to produce a senior thesis that involved gerontology. Penny inspired me in part by her urging me to spend quality time with elderly residents at local Sarasota homes, and thoughtfully ponder the nature of aging and fate of the elderly in America. By graduation I considered her a friend, and lament that the distance of geography, life's mutually demanding activities, and sheer bad timing never allowed our paths to cross again through the span of years. She will live on strong in my memory, and I believe there is more than blind coincidence in the fact my youngest daughter is named Natalie. Farewell Penny, and thank you.
Kent Simendinger
October 24, 2013
She was a quietly extraordinary person. She taught me (and many others) to love sociology, a passion that not even the profession of sociology itself has managed to extinguish, and she taught generations of students to view the world with great kindness and dignity and to really love Florida for its own sake. She was an important influence for so many of us Novo Collegians, past and present. I'll remember her with gratitude.
A. Mukherjea
October 24, 2013
Our family was fortunate to have lived nearby and to have known her these last few years. She was always simply very humble and helpful, each day for her must have seemed only a new opportunity to improve someone or something in the world. She will be missed by us all and in our thoughts often...
October 24, 2013
Penny had such a pivotal and transformative impact on my time at New College and my life. She believed in me before she knew me, she went out of her way to help me when she didn't have to, she encouraged me to follow my passion and trust in my inner voice. What a gift. Her days are a model for what an unpretentious life of service can look like. Many Thanks.
Leah Granger
October 24, 2013
Penny Rosel changed my life. As my advisor at New College, she gave me some advice during a time of great trial for me that seemed quite counterintuitive, but proved to be one of the best things that ever happened for me. She was kind, funny, present, and always had a way of supporting with the gentlest yet keenest approach. I will remember her always as a very significant force in my own life and that of many...
Julie Sands
October 20, 2013
January 28, 2013
October 18, 2013
We knew Penny for too short a time. But that time was rich beyond our capacity to describe; she introduced us to ideas, authors, poets, thinkers, spitual guides about which we talked for hours... She sang and recited poetry, laughed and cried. When, in her last email she wrote, Bon Voyage, we knew what she was saying and we cried.
Christine and Christopher
October 17, 2013
Penny was so full of light.
Penny was a remarkable professor. Her generosity of spirit & her determination to open up our eyes to other's journeys has served us all so well. RIP spirited lady...
Wendy Bennett
October 17, 2013
I remember Penny Rosel very fondly. She was a dedicated and thoughtful teacher who believed in her students. Her project of sending us to interview local residents about their life history at a local center for the elderly was transformational. She was one of the first teachers at New College who treated me like a trusted friend. I will be keeping her family in my thoughts and prayers in the coming days, and will greatly miss her.
Jessica Huettner Rosenthal
October 17, 2013
Penny was a fantastic teacher, sponsor, mentor, and friend. New College was greater because she was a professor there. I am so happy I was able to know Penny and keep in touch with her over the years since my graduation in 1977. I will truly miss her, but count every moment in her presence a blessing.
Louise Barrett
October 17, 2013
My dear friend Penny ..... sshe touched my heart in more ways than I know .... I will remember her always.
Dave Chakraverty
October 16, 2013
Penny Rosel was one of those professors who changed your life. Her classes were inspiring and her guidance was so meaningful. I will miss her dearly.
Laura Chintapalli
October 16, 2013
I will always remember Penny Rosel, one of my first professors at New College, who ended up becoming my thesis advisor. I remember feeling so proud of my thesis--her esteem meant a lot to me. I learned a lot from her. This sounds so simple, but she really made an impression on me.
Trina Sargalski
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