William was born on July 7, 1954 in Santa Monica, California, the second of Joseph and Catherine (Echle) Rossi’s five children. His parents raised them in their Pacific Palisades home where they lived for over fifty years. He died unexpectedly on April 24, 2019.
Growing up in the Palisades, William was an altar boy, a Boy Scout and a frequent participant in the annual Fourth of July Parade.
While attending Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary School, William developed his penchant for salesmanship, holding the record for selling the most subscriptions to The Tidings, a Catholic periodical. Such success helped shape him for things to come.
While attending Saint Monica’s Catholic High School, William began working at St. John’s Hospital, the site of his birth, where his father served as director of the Physical Therapy Department for over thirty years, and where his mother volunteered doing faith-based services for the infirm. William’s duties as an orderly mined his natural friendliness and helped him give countless hospital patients a reason to smile each day.
William went on to work at several iconic L.A. retail establishments from Tiffany’s to Frette; where he honed the art of relationship salesmanship long before it became a successful business model.
William traveled to the Seattle area to join his youngest brother, John, and his family where they celebrated many holidays together. One year they all took an excursion to Victoria, British Columbia to celebrate New Year’s Eve with High Tea at the famous Empress Hotel. Other travels included a trip to New York City last year, as well as a luxury trip to Italy in 2014, a destination he had promised his mother he would one day make.
He had fashion savvy and developed his own impressive style of dress, even in his everyday attire.
William was funny. He was compassionate, thoughtful, funny, and caring. He had a remarkable memory and, despite his trim frame, he had a big appetite, not just for good food, but also for life, travel, and personal connection.
He never lived more than ten miles from where he was born.
He knew how to get anywhere in Southern California, even though he hadn’t driven a car for over thirty five years.
His motto was, “Everything happens for the best, who cares about the reason?”
Last fall he adopted an eight-year-old Jack Russell Terrier he named Blake. Bonding with his new found companion, and the care that good pet owners develop, enriched William’s life beyond his imagination. They spent most of each day and night together. He had lots of love for his dog, and Blake returned it in kind. On the night of April 24, while walking Blake not more than 800 feet from his front door, William succumbed to a heart attack and passed immediately. Blake stayed with him while kind neighbors and first responders tried to revive his master on site.
William is survived by sisters Cathi and Maria Rossi, brothers Joseph and John Rossi, Sisters-in-Law Joan and Gabrielle Rossi, nephew Kyle Rossi, and niece Michaela Rossi.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Catherine Rossi next to whom he will be inurned.
Remembrance, inurnment, and reception services will begin at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 18 at the Holy Cross Mortuary/Cemetery. 5835 West Slauson Ave. Culver City, CA 90230
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