Photography

Cosimo Anthony Sgarlata

July 19, 1958 ~ May 26, 2022 (age 63)

Obituary

 


Dr. Cosimo Anthony Sgarlata, 63, of Norwalk, died on May 26, 2022 at Hartford Hospital.  Born in Norwalk, the son of Josephine (Porchi) and the late Pasquale Sgarlata, he was a beloved WCSU professor and archeologist.   He is survived by his mother Josephine, and sister Giovanna.
 

Dr. Sgarlata (everyone called him Dr. Cos) was a beloved member of our WCSU Community.  Although he worked for years professionally as a respiratory therapist, he developed his love of anthropology and archaeology as a student of Dr. Ernest Wiegand’s at Norwalk Community College.  He went on to graduate with an anthropology/sociology degree from WCSU in the late 1990’s, and then completed his Ph.D.in archaeology at Hunter College in New York City.  Beverly Dumonski, a cohort at both WCSU and Hunter, worked with him on multiple research and field projects.  Together, they worked in the field and the WCSU archaeology lab.  After Cos finished his dissertation, he worked on several large scale archaeology projects with Historical Perspectives in Westport in the field of, Cultural Resource Management, where he excavated, mapped, and analyzed thousands of stone artifacts from several significant precontact sites in the Hudson Valley region.

Cos started to teach classes in anthropology at WCSU around 2007.  He became an integral member of the WCSU Summer Archaeology Field School, not only because he had GIS mapping skills, but also because he had extensive expertise in fieldwork.  He joined Dr. Laurie Weinstein and Dr. Bethany Morrison as a team member at the Middle Encampment Revolutionary War site in Redding.  With his help, the team successfully nominated this site to the Connecticut State Archaeological Preserve program for permanent protection.  Cos mentored numerous Senior Thesis students in archaeology, teaching them lab and field skills, and mapping features across the landscape.  He took over the role of archaeologist at WCSU and taught a wealth of classes including cultural and physical anthropology, along with flint knapping, and archaeological theory.  He was not only a brilliant archaeologist, but a very kind, decent and caring person with a passion for music.  With Cos and Bethany in the lead, the three WCSU archaeologists published the book, Historical Archaeology of Revolutionary War Encampments in Washington’s Army (University of Florida Press 2019).  It featured the work of many of the WCSU archaeology students who participated in the field school and classes.

Dr. Nick Bellantoni (former Connecticut State Archaeologist) said that he got to know Cos well when they both sat on the board of directors of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut (ASC).  Soon after volunteering for the board, Cos took on the responsibilities of treasurer, a position that few wanted. He was willing to step forward to help the organization.  Later, when Dr. Bellantoni retired and took over the ASC presidency, he informed the board that he would only take the position temporarily to help out an ailing former president.  No one wanted the position, so he continued in it for several years until Cos volunteered to take it over.  Nick was not only grateful to Cos but realized how committed he was to Connecticut archaeology.  “His allegiance and willingness to step up to the plate when needed impressed everyone immensely.”  With the ASC board, Cos willingly took on the least desirable roles for the betterment of the archaeological community.  Nick always held Cos in high regard for his hard work and loyalty.  He endeared himself to everyone in the organization, who appreciated his commitment.  Nick recounted that Cos’s recording and excavation techniques were impressive, and his field and site publications were an extraordinary contribution to the science of archaeology in our state.

Dr. Cos’s passing deeply saddens so many so greatly.  The loss is deeply felt throughout the Connecticut archaeological community, and among his former colleagues and students at WCSU.  Together with his buddies, Dr. Laurie Weinstein hopes that wherever Cos is right now, that he is happily digging with his trowel and smiling with delight as he discovers yet another Clovis point. 

Cos - We miss you and Love you. WCSU is formulating plans to name the Archaeology Lab after you to acknowledge the countless hour and amazing energy and efforts you spent making it the educational and rich place it is today.


His family will receive friends on Thursday, June 2, from 5-8 PM at the Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Ave, Norwalk. His Funeral Mass will be held at 10AM on Friday, June 3 at St. Philip Church, One Father Conlon Pl, Norwalk, with burial at St. John Cemetery.

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
June 2, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Magner Funeral Home, Inc.
12 Mott Ave
Norwalk, CT 06850

Mass of Christian Burial
Friday
June 3, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Philip Church
1 Father Conlon Place
Norwalk, CT 06851

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