FORT MYERS, Fla. — John “Jack” Rosser, 86, of Litchfield and Fort Myers, Fla., passed away in Fort Myers, Fla., on Monday, May 8.

He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on March 12, 1931, the son of Leona and Walter Rosser. Jack graduated from Bristol High School in Bristol, Pa. He graduated from Westchester University with a BS degree. He received his master’s degree from Rutgers University and his PHD from Temple University. Jack served with the U.S. Army and received an honorable discharge in 1955. In 1970, he married Leslie Maxwell of Litchfield.

Jack’s started his career as a teacher, coach and administrator in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 1972, he was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Education in New Jersey. In 1975, Jack was appointed Commissioner of Mental Health and Corrections for the State of Maine. Following that position, he worked in the University of Maine system.

In 1981, Jack became a consultant to Spurwink School in Portland working on expanding services to other NE States. In 1983, he was appointed Executive Director of Spurwink School that began a 20 year career with the school. Jack worked with Harvey Berman at Spurwink which began a lifelong friendship. Jack and Harvey were honored as Humanitarians of the Year in 2003 by Spurwink School. In 2014 the Berman-Rosser Fund for professional leadership and training was established. When Jack retired from Spurwink an award in his name was established which is given to a staff member who has shown exemplary work during the course of each year. Jack authored a report that became known as the “Rosser Report” which studied a 10-year plan for the future of education in Maine. He was a founding member of the Maine Children’s Alliance in Augusta. Jack had a passion for education and helping people reach their utmost potential. He approached his career with dignity, professionalism and a sense of humor.

In later years, he and his wife, Les, retired to Fort Myers, Fla., for the winter months and returned to Maine for the summer months. In Florida, Jack served as treasurer for his condominium association board for many years. Jack enjoyed playing golf, riding in his boat, and relaxing with a cigar on his front deck surrounded by his Labs. He was an avid fan of the Boston sports teams. In Florida, he was a season ticket holder for the Red Sox spring training.

He is survived by his wife, Leslie; and his daughters, Leigh Clark of Litchfield, Lois Welch of Yardley, Pa., Cathy Steinmann of Burlington Twp, N.J., Carol Walker of Mt. Laurel, N.J., and son, John of Stratford, N.J., and their families, and grandson “The Big Guy.”

Messages of condolence may be sent to

John ‘Jack’ Rosser

Comments are no longer available on this story