William Norton Grandgeorge, age 86, retired professor of theatre at Roger Williams University, died on September 10, 2020 of congestive heart failure. He is survived by Nancy (Meginnes) Grandgeorge to whom he had been married to for 63 years. He was born in Aurora, Illinois, a son of the late Vernon H. and Genevieve (Norton) Grandgeorge. He had lived in Warren for 38 years.
Bill moved to Rhode Island in 1968 to design the curriculum for a Department of Theatre at Roger Williams University. During his time at the University, he also designed the University’s London Theatre Program and served as Department Chair, Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts and as an active member of many of the University committees. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 2007. His teaching was characterized by personal friendships with his students. They affectionately referred to has as “G”, admitting that he pulled eagerness from apathy, knowledge from ignorance and inspiration from boredom. In shaping many young hopes and vague dreams into theatre art, “G” instilled excitement in small details as well as in large ideas. At his retirement, after 38 years of teaching, over 200 alumni came back to RWU for a retirement party. He continued teaching as an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University for seven more years.
Mr. Grandgeorge received his BA degree from Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, his MA from the University of Illinois and did additional graduate work at Indiana University. In 1997, he was awarded the Florida Omeis Teacher Recognition Award by Knox College and in 2000, he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by the University Colleges of Roger Williams University.
He was a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Bristol, often serving as a lector, usher, vestryman, committee member, as well as Junior and Senior Warden.
He was the father of the late Margene Grandgeorge and is survived by his son, Mark V. Grandgeorge of Bristol and three grandsons, Brian, Jason (Emily Reid), Michael (Rhiannon Phillips) and two great grandchildren, Nyla and Matthew. He has two brothers, The Rev. Douglas Grandgeorge of Patterson, New York and Vernon Grandgeorge of East Palatka, Florida. One brother, Robert Grandgeorge of Somonuak, IL., preceded him in death.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Requiem Eucharist Service in Celebration of his life on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM in St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 399 Hope Street, Bristol, interment will follow in the Memorial Garden of St. Michael’s Church. Visiting hours are respectfully omitted. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Roger Williams University Mary J. Staab Memorial Scholarship Fund, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809-2921 or to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 399 Hope Street, Bristol, RI 02809.
Social distancing guidelines, use of face masks and seating capacity limits will be in place.
THE REQUIEM EUCHARIST SERVICE IN CELEBRATION OF HIS LIFE WILL BE LIVESTREAMED SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 AT 2:00 pm BY GOING TO: https://stmichaelsbristolri.org/live-stream/
For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions go to www.sansonefuneralhome.com
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