On Sunday, Feb.4, 2018, Todd Anthony Rosa died with his wife by his side. He was 52 years old; he fought pancreatic cancer for two years with tenacity and grace. Todd had a lifelong love of both history and education. Before college he served in the Army, spending 1984-1986 in Fulda, West Germany. He earned his BA in history at the University of Massachusetts, and then his Ph.D. in history from the George Washington University. Specializing in 20th century American diplomatic history, his dissertation covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the American response.
His interest in educational equity prompted him to teach in the Baltimore City public schools as he finished his PhD. He taught at the Samuel L. Banks High School from 2005 to 2008. From 2008 to his diagnosis in 2016 he worked as a professor in the College of Education at Frostburg State University in Maryland, improving teacher education and sending teachers both into local schools but also back to Baltimore City. The first in his family to get a college degree, he became a tenured professor at FSU.
Todd was smart, funny, and kind. He was a voracious reader; he loved to cook and to travel. He'll be deeply missed by his wife, Laura Blessing, and by many friends, colleagues, and students. He is also survived by his mother Kathryn; his father, Arthur; his mother-in-law, Beth Brownlow; his father-in-law, Ray Blessing; his sister, Jackie Jamieson (and her husband Mark); his brother Tracy (and his wife Julie); his sister-in-law, Emily; brother-in-law, Jim; a nephew; nieces; aunts; and uncles. Todd will be buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on March 3, after a 1 p.m. memorial service in the chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to KIPP Ujima Academy, 4701 Greenspring Avenue in Baltimore, MD 21209.
Published on February 24, 2018