The skilled hands and creative mind of Tod W. Rossiter, 65, of Swanzey, stood still with his unexpected passing at his home in Swanzey, on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. His unexpected departure has left a void and deep loss for those who loved him.
His parents, George M. and Donna C. (Eckstrom) Rossiter, welcomed their son into the world on March 25, 1955, in South Bend, Ind. The family moved to New England in 1956. Tod spent his primary years in Bedford. While there he spent many days after school and on vacations helping at a local farm. The farmer rewarded Tod’s time by teaching him to play pool. His experiences on the farm were formative in his love of nature and learning to become a skilled pool player. The family moved to Keene in 1966. He attended Keene schools and was a 1973 graduate of Keene High School.
The move to New England was to be closer to the old family homestead in Calais, Vt. The family spent most of their free time in Calais. Tod loved spending summer time with his Dad, Mom and sister in Vermont, walking, fishing, swimming and working on the never-ending projects of the 1850’s farmhouse. This family homestead and area was a favorite spot for Tod.
After graduating high school, he pursued his interests in forestry and the outdoors. He attended the University of New Hampshire’s forestry program and graduated in 1977 with a bachelor of science.
Tod worked as a forester in Goshen and for Calhoun Forestry in Gilsum before pursuing the field of carpentry and building. He worked for various local contractors, as well as having his own contracting business for more than 30 years. He was a skilled craftsman. A testimony to his skills as a master builder and furniture maker are apparent in his home that he built in Swanzey.
Tod loved and also finely honed several other skills and activities. He was a fast, aggressive, good skier in his youth, spending most winter weekends at Mt. Sunapee. Tod enjoyed golfing and playing basketball in his earlier years. Tod was also a polished New Hampshire and nationally competitive champion billiard player. He played locally as well as in various championship tournaments throughout New England. In 1988 he qualified and played in a national tournament in St. Louis.
He was an avid Patriots and NASCAR fan, and really enjoyed watching most sports. He enjoyed playing cards and the camaraderie of his friends at The Elks and The Eagles clubs. Another favorite pastime was spending time with his grandson, Luke. Tod had made plans to teach and share his knowledge and skills of billiards and carpentry with Luke.
He had many things he planned to do and had no intention of leaving. His departure is a heartbreak. He was a private, special person with a good heart.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his son, Jeremy Rossiter, of Keene; his grandson, Luke Rossiter; his sister, Christine Rossiter, and her husband, Winfield “Buzz” Burhans, of West Glover, Vt.; and his former wife, close friend and family member, Kathy Cobb, of Keene. He also leaves an aunt and uncle, Jewel and William Eckstrom, of Naples, Fla., and four cousins. His presence will be deeply missed and it leaves a big void for his family and friends.
In the 1980s Tod helped support Special Olympians by helping to coach, transporting them and attending their events on weekends. He was a wonderful mentor to the children and remained a supporter. Donations in Tod’s memory may be made to N.H. Special Olympics, Box 3598, Concord NH 03101; or to a charity of your choice.
A celebration of Tod’s life will be held at The Keene Elks Camp on May 16, 2021. A notice of the celebration will be reposted in May. Burial will be at a later date in the Calais, Vt., Cemetery.
The Foley Funeral Home of Keene is assisting the family with the arrangements. To offer online condolences or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.