Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Felipe "Philip" Rosete

Physics teacher left imprint on generations of students

TAMPA— In 1979, after nearly three decades teaching physics in high schools and colleges, during which time he designed courses for a new Hillsborough Community College and launched the county's first science fair, Philip Rosete was ready to retire.

Instead, he was lured back to teaching at Jesuit High. He stayed 19 years, trying to instill an order in students he hoped would govern their lives.

Mr. Rosete, a local educator for 48 years and a community leader, died March 3 at Melech Hospice House, of kidney failure. He was 89.

"He was without a doubt the most influential teacher in my life," said Tampa cardiologist Dr. Benedict Maniscalco, 70, a former student at Jefferson High.

"He left a great legacy in education," said former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez, another Jefferson High student who forged a long friendship with Mr. Rosete.

Nephew Mark Beiro, a longtime sports announcer, likened his uncle to "a Spanish Hugh Beaumont," referring to the actor who played Ward Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver. A disappointed look could bring a youngster in line. Some misbehaviors prompted a wide-ranging lecture that included elements of history and contained moral lessons.

"He could go back to the beginning of time," said Marlena Scardino, 61, Mr. Rosete's daughter.

Mr. Rosete was born in Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1922, and arrived in Tampa at age 3. As a teenager growing up in Ybor City, he worked at Los Helados, a family restaurant specializing in homemade ice cream.

A few years later, he was fighting with the Army in Normandy, one of the defining experiences of his life.

"He thought he would die there," Beiro said.

Back in Tampa, he married Ofelia, whom he had met at a dance. Mr. Rosete graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in math and physics, then did graduate work. He served part time for 10 years in the National Guard.

Between 1952 and 1964, Mr. Rosete taught on Jefferson High's original campus, then moved to Leto High. Along the way, he taught at the University of Tampa, University of Florida and Florida State University.

In the late 1960s he took an administrator's role at Hillsborough Community College, where he served as a dean, contributing to curriculum planning and facilities design for the college's Dale Mabry, Plant City and Ybor City campuses.

He landed at Jesuit in 1979 and taught physics, retiring in 1998. While at Jesuit, he served on the board of Centro Asturiano Hospital, including time as its president.

In retirement he enjoyed Saturday breakfasts at El Gallo de Oro in Fiesta Plaza, where he often ran into former students.

"He taught you two things," said Maniscalco, who founded St. Joseph's Heart Institute. "How to think, and how to comport yourself to live a good life."

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2248.

.Biography

Felipe "Philip" Rosete

Born: June 24, 1922

Died: March 3, 2012

Survivors: wife Ofelia Fernandez Rosete; daughter Marlena Rosete Scardino; son Philip Rosete; daughters Etelvina Fernandez, Blanca Rosete Vera and Hortensia Rosete Beiro; brother Francisco Rosete; four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren.

Physics teacher left imprint on generations of students 03/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  2. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no

    Courts

    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  3. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  4. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee: