Gregory “Greg” Scott Rosandich, the United States Sports Academy’s director of student information systems, was remembered for his dedication to his family, especially as a devoted husband and father.
The 55-year-old from Semmes, Ala., who was the youngest of Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich’s four sons, passed away peacefully on July 29, 2013 surrounded by his family. He was married to Reba Griffin of Mobile, Ala., in 1994 and they have one son, Thomas Gregory.
Born June 13, 1958 in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., Greg Rosandich became an All-Conference quarterback at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wis., where he graduated with honors. He also excelled in diving, gymnastics and the pole vault.
At the age of 11 in 1969, Rosandich completed the inaugural Paavo Nurmi Marathon, which was founded by his father and is still run today. By the time he finished the race in Hurley, Wis., five hours later, the crowds had long since vanished.
“That he was tenacious was perhaps best personified when he ran the Paavo Nurmi,” said Greg’s brother, T.J. “As the race progressed, he would come to the water stations only to find that they had packed it in. But still he ran on, getting water from garden hoses along the route. What was overlooked in all of this, I’m willing to bet, was that he could have very well been the youngest ever finisher of a marathon at that point in time.”
In 1981, Greg Rosandich went to work in the oil fields for Halliburton. In Saudi Arabia, he became foreman of a crew that pumped chemicals down oil wells. In 1985, while on a rig near Abqaiq, the oil well blew out. He was knocked over the side of the platform and fell about 35 feet to the desert floor.
However, he recovered and worked right up to the day that he was taken to the hospital for the last time. At the time of his death, he was employed at the Academy in Daphne, Ala., where he worked with his father and brother, T.J.
Well-liked and respected at the Academy and in the community, his Aug. 8 memorial service in Fairhope, Ala., attracted many people, including Board of Trustees Emeritus Jerry Hock and his wife, Patty; Trustee Emeritus Bill Jeansonne, and his wife, Stephanie; former Academy Dean of Academic Affairs Skip Applin, Ron Dickerson, former faculty member and the first black football coach in NCAA Division I at Temple University; Mike Marshall, statewide director of commentary for al.com; and the President of CIBA Geigy Sven Mansfeld and his wife, Sybil. Among many other people, there was a large contingent from the local Jessie Andrews Marine Corps League Detachment.
“We sincerely appreciate everyone’s wonderful expressions of sympathy for Greg,” said Dr. Rosandich, Greg’s father. “He simply is in a better place now. We will carry him always in our hearts.”
Greg is survived by his father Dr. Thomas Peter Rosandich (Sally); his wife, Reba and son, Toma; his three brothers, Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Capt. Steve Rosandich (Jayne), and Capt. Mark Rosandich; and two sisters, Nicki Rosandich (Matthew), and Michele Rosandich; mother-in-law Betty Arnold (Jeff) and numerous nephews and nieces.