School 21

Charles Joseph Marzzacco

May 1, 1942 ~ January 17, 2022 (age 79)


Charles Joseph Marzzacco age 79 of Melbourne, Florida died on January 17, 2022. He was born on May 1, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Carl and Angela Marzzacco. Following graduation in 1960 from Olney High School in Philadelphia where he was president of the student association, he attended Temple University. It was there that he met his future wife, Patricia, in the freshman western civilization course. They dated for their four years of college and married on August 22 following their graduation in 1964.


Charlie then began his graduate studies in physical chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a Ph.D in chemistry in 1968. After completing two years of post doctoral studies at Princeton University he began his teaching and research career at the University Heights campus of New York University. When that campus closed, Charlie, Pat and their three year old daughter, Laura, moved to Providence, Rhode Island where Charlie began a long and distinguished career as a chemistry professor at Rhode Island College. He was awarded the Mary Tucker Thorpe professorship in 1985 in recognition of his research in physical chemistry and in 1995 the Paul Maixner award for excellence in teaching. He retired in 2003 with the rank of Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.


Retirement for Charlie did not mark the end of his research or teaching. Quite the contrary, in fact. Charlie and Pat moved from Providence to Melbourne, Florida to be closer to their daughter, Laura, and her husband, Tom. Within a few years their two grandchildren, Charlie and Emily, were born and a whole new wonderful life began. In addition to grandfathering with the joys that brings, Charlie resumed his research in chemistry publishing several papers, volunteered in the Chemistry Department at Florida Institute of Technology and began a new way of teaching by creating online demonstrations of chemical reactions that would be helpful to students and teachers. In all, more than 100,000 readers have viewed his presentations on YouTube and read his written work on Research Gate. He got special gratification from his work with Charlie and Emily and about a year ago they published a paper together which has been read by more than 1,000 people.


Charlie was a devoted husband to his wife, Pat, father to his daughter, Laura, and granddad to his grandchildren, Charlie and Emily. A strong believer in the importance of a good education, he always worked with and encouraged Charlie and Emily to do their best in school. He said many times that “a day without learning was a day wasted.”


Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Marie Clark and his brother-in-law Frederick Liedtke. He is survived by Pat, Laura, Tom, Charlie and Emily as well as his sister Joan Liedtke, brother Robert and wife Shirley and brother-in-law Robert Clark as well as numerous nieces, nephews, friends, former colleagues, and students.


A celebration of his life and legacy is being planned.

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