Friday, June 02, 2023


Warren Rossell, 94

Warren Clare Rossell of Westport (known in the business world as Dusty Rossell), long active in Westport community affairs, died Oct. 27. He was 94. Image
Warren Rossell: active in community affairs. Contributed photo

He had been a vice president at five advertising agencies in their creative departments as writer, TV commercial producer, creative director and account supervisor. The agencies were Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove, Sawdon & Bess, Grisworld Eshelman, Ross Roy and William Esty. He worked in both New York and Pittsburgh. Accounts included Texaco, Heinz and Wendy’s. He was also an executive producer at EUE Screen Gems, the TV Commercial Division of Columbia Pictures.

He and his family moved to Westport in 1962 where he became an active member of the community. He was a former president of the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston and sang with their choral group, The Hoot Owls. He was a member of the board of directors of the Westport Country Playhouse and was founder and president of the Playhouse Guild.

He was a board member of the Westport Weston Health District and had been elected to the Westport Representative Town Meeting from District 3. He was president of the Syracuse University Alumni of Fairfield County.

He received the Governor’s Award for Service for two decades as a volunteer travel counselor for the Connecticut Department of Tourism at the Darien Welcome Center on I-95. As president of the Westport Senior Center Policy and Planning Board, he was instrumental in developing the new center.

He was a former board member of the Westport Historical Society and was a lifetime member of the VFW.

He was born Oct. 20, 1922 in Syracuse, N.Y., the only child of Clare Curt Rossell and Mildred Rusterholtz Rossell. He was the great-grandson of Captain Simeon Hovey Brown, Civil War hero with the Union Army, who was killed in the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, VA in 1862.

He was a graduate of Amherst College with a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University. He also spent a graduate year each at Columbia University Law School, Northwestern University and University of Southern California.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor. Upon graduation, he trained at Midshipmen’s School at Tower Hall in Chicago and received his commission as Ensign. He reported to the Third Fleet in the Solomon Islands and became skipper of LCT 308 as officer-in-charge with a crew of 12 men.

Immediately after the war, he volunteered to serve the Navy in Bremen, Germany, as Aade to the Commodore M.C. Robertson, operations officer and historian for the Navy in Germany.

Prior to advertising, Rossell’s career was in radio and TV. He was at WWHG, Hormell, N.Y., where as a radio personality he did the morning show, “Time and Tempo,” as well as newscasts. He wrote and performed “Let’s Draw with Uncle Dusty” for the New York State Educational Network and the drama series “Invitation to Live” for the Hornell Police Department.

At WSYR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Syracuse, he directed and produced the daily hour-long award winning show “The Jim Deline Gang,” with an orchestra and singers, loosely patterned after the “Arthur Godfrey Show.”

In Buffalo, he became the production manger of WGRZ–TV, Channel 2, supervising the station’s launch in 1954. He also taught evening classes in television writing and production at Mount Joseph Teacher’s College and later television writing at Brooklyn College.

Over the years, Rossell was active as a performer. He sang with “Memory Lane Productions” produced by Jane Copland Stevens touring the tri-state area. He estimates that over a lifetime, he had sung in over 40 choirs and choruses in Syracuse, Amherst, Buffalo, Chicago, New York City, Pittsburgh, Norwalk and Westport. He was also active in local theater. Music, theater and movies were primary interests in his life.

He was predeceased by his wife of over 50 years, Ann Kinney Rossell, a former television personality, lecturer, speaker bureau executive and overall publicist. They met while both worked in television. Their four children include Tony Rossell of Lorton, Va.,, Curt Rossell of Milford, Mimi Rossell Wolfe of Sinking Spring, Pa.,and Joyce Rossell Alla of Marblehead, Mass. and 10 grandchildren.

Hel was a member of the Democratic Party and was an ardent pacifist with the sincere hope that someday all war will be outlawed as a method of settling disputes between nations. Above all, his sense of humor was all-important to him and this was apparent in every phase of his life.

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