Dr. Philip Pitruzzello, 94, died peacefully in Seattle on December 5th 2017, surrounded by his family. Phil was born in Middletown Connecticut, the son of Angelo and Vincenza, immigrants from Melilli, Sicily.
Phil was an educator who enriched the lives of thousands of students throughout his career. Early in WW II Phil enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving for the duration of the war in the Pacific Naval air campaign. He participated in some of the biggest battles in the Pacific and received many commendations for his service. Within 3 days of the end of the War Phil was in a college classroom, fulfilling his dream to attend college. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut College (1948) and master’s degree from Boston University (1950). From 1950 to 1960 he was a history teacher in the Fairfield CT public schools, where he helped students aid a Hungarian refugee family, and later became Principal of Ridgefield CT High School. In 1960 he packed up the family and moved to Chicago to earn his doctorate at the University of Chicago. He became Ridgefield CT’s Superintendent of Schools from 1962 through 1964, and Superintendent of Schools in Herricks School District on Long Island, NY 1964-1968. In 1968, he joined the faculty of New York University as Professor of Educational Administration until his retirement in 1988.