William S. Rossi

William S. Rossi

William S. Rossi

William S. Rossi learned the plumbing trade as a teenager, being forced to leave school to assist his family, as was the custom in that day. At the outbreak of WW II he joined the Seabees, serving in the Pacific Theatre on both Saipan and Tinian islands.

He discovered an active volcanic crater on Tinian that to this day is known as “Rossi’s Crater.” On returning home in 1945, Rossi was active in progressive politics pursuant to social justice, ran for alderman in New Haven, and joined the NAACP, being one of its first Caucasian members in New Haven In 1961 Rossi formed “Rossi Bros. Plumbing and Heating Co,” with his late brother Anthony.

In 1973 Rossi married Melatina Krainess of West Haven. They remained married until her death in 1991. During this period Rossi taught plumbing for the state of Connecticut, and became a member of the Connecticut Building Officials Association (CBOA) serving as an active building inspector until his retirement at age 86.

The CBOA scholarship, given to a graduating high school senior entering the construction trades, is known as the “William S. Rossi Scholarship,” and for many years Rossi presented it personally at the association’s annual meeting. 

Bill Rossi was a Mason, and this was central to his life. He was a long-time member of Trumbull Lodge No. 22 in New Haven. In addition, in recent years, Rossi visited local schools and spoke about his experiences in the service during WW II. Bill’s son Marc is a Professor of Music at Berklee College in Massachusetts.