John Colozzi passed away at his winter home in Tuscon, Arizona.
Born in Providence, R.I., on July 19, 1936, the son of the late Joseph and Yvonne (Ponichtera). He is predeceased by a brother, Daniel, and survived by younger sisters Frances Riffenberg and Geraldine Wiitala, both of Westerly, R.I.
He attended Richmond School from 1942 to 1950 and LaSalle Academy in Providence from 1950 to 1954. He began his bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque before transferring to Boston University in 1956 from which he graduated in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in History. He entered the University of Rhode Island in Kingston in 1960, receiving a Master's degree in Russian History and Russian Language in 1964. He then became an Assistant Professor at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont from 1964. Following his teaching assignment in Vermont, he entered Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In coordination with this study, he spent a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris. He received the Ph.D. degree in June of 1976. During the course of the Ph.D. studies, he acquired fluency in French, Spanish and Russian.
In 1982 he moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked for a branch of the U.S. Treasury regarding international trade in the U.S. wine industry. Eventually, as part of the American representation to the International Office of the Wine and Vine in Paris, he became part of the team representing U.S. interests in all member countries in Western Europe, additionally taking him to Russia, Ukraine and Yalta. In preparation for overseas work, he spend one year in training in the wine industry in the Napa and Sonoma wine areas on California.
In retirement he became an accomplished watercolorist, winning several awards, including three first prizes in competitions conducted by the members of the Virginia Art League in Alexandria, Va. In later years he fulfilled his love of history and travel by visiting Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and many countries in Western Europe.
Published in The Westerly Sun on May 7, 2019.