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Robert Derosier

Robert F. Derosier

Monday, June 18th, 1923 - Saturday, June 8th, 2019
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Obituary

Robert F. Derosier of West Hartford passed away on Saturday (June 8, 2019). The love of his life and his wife of forty-four years, Helen, predeceased him in 2003.

A 1940 graduate of Leominster (MA) High School, he was inducted into the army in March 1943.He underwent basic training in the combat engineers at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and then was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program and was sent to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri to study engineering. After three terms, the Army cancelled the engineering program and he was transferred to the 97th Infantry Division, Company L, 386th Infantry as a BAR man. The 97th Infantry fought in Europe including in the battle of the Ruhr Pocket, captured major German cities, and liberated the Flossenburg concentration camp before ending hostilities near Pilsen, Czechoslovakia as part of Patton’s Third Army. The 386th then became one of only two outfits which fought in Europe and then occupied Japan. He was discharged from the army in March, 1946. For his meritorious service in combat, he received the Bronze Star.

He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. A lifelong advocate for education, he began his teaching career at Manchester High School in Manchester, NH, in 1953 and went on to teach European and U.S. history at Hall and Conard High Schools in West Hartford, in addition to serving as the chairman of the social studies department for the West Hartford School system. As recognition of his achievements in teaching and to further his scholarship, he was awarded a John Hay Fellowship in the Humanities in 1965 to Northwestern University. He ended his career as a full professor of European history at the University of Hartford. He was immensely proud of his students and their achievements and kept in touch with many over the years, long past their time in his classroom.

He is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. Frederick and Laidis Derosier of Raleigh, North Carolina and Attorney Robert M. and Susan Derosier of Exeter, New Hampshire, four grandchildren, Frederick, Gabrielle, Katherine, and Emily, as well as several nieces and nephews. There will be no calling hours and interment will be at Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. The Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford is assisting the Derosier family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
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JT

Jerry Trecker

Posted at 11:41am
One of the most influential men in my teaching career at Hall High, Bob was one of the best and most caring professionals West Hartford ever had. We stayed in touch at the holidays after he retired. Thinking of those days brings so many good memories.
Jerry Trecker
SC

Simone le Coutre

Posted at 03:00pm
Dear Robert and
I was sorry to hear about your father's death. He was a colleague of mine when I taught
In West Hartford Schools, and I remember him well for his intelligence and good manners.
He was a very kind man.

I also remember you well from 1976, when you were my student in English at Sedgwick, so
I often asked about you. I could tell how proud your father was of you.

I am a retired teacher now myself (was very young when you were my student in my first year in West Hartford), and my parents are long gone. I know that the loss of a parent is one of life's difficult challenges. I hope that you feel supported by loved ones and friends at this time of grief.

Sincerely,
Simone Vrabel le Coutre
SB

Sara Boyle

Posted at 08:31am
I’m so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. Bob and Helen were cherished friends and great neighbors to my parents, Howard and Doris, for many years. My parents often spoke of them fondly. My dad always enjoyed talking to your dad and enjoyed their competitive bridge games. With sincere sympathy- Sara (Gleason) Boyle and Doris Gleason
RS

Robert Strauss

Posted at 01:57am
Mr. Derosier was the best teacher that I had in high school and college. He was challenging and did not let you coast by in his classes. He taught Modern European History at Conard and I had him as a teacher as part of the Class of 1962. He made history interesting and class time enjoyable. I have not forgotten Mr. Derosier for 50+ years and never will.
BJ

Bob Jeffers

Posted at 11:14am
Mr. Derosier talk world history at Conard, my first year after transferring from a school in California. He was the single teacher that I credit with my life-long interest in history. He took us far away from just learning dates and unattached events. I am in his debt.

My condolences to his family. Prayers and thoughts your way.
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