Former Olympic rower Glenn Joseph Florio, 53, of Niantic, Connecticut, died on October 26, 2020.
Born in Rye, N.Y., the son of Bob and Gail Florio, he was the fourth child in a family of five, and, according to his siblings, “the one who always came up smiling.”
At Rye High School, he was a four-time U.S. high school champion in the single scull, won over 20 National Rowing Championships in various boats, and rowed in the Junior World Championships.
In 1986 he won a bronze medal in the World Rowing Championships in the lightweight single scull. At Fordham University, where he majored in Economics, Florio was a gold medalist in the single scull at the Collegiate National Championships. The summer before his senior year, he earned a coveted position on the 1988 United States Olympic Rowing team in the double scull.
A fine stock of athletes at New York Athletic Club were his partners in success, training together from first light through countless sunsets over Orchard Beach Lagoon. There was no doubt Glenn Florio inspired his teammates, helping make them better athletes and, sometimes, even better people. His disarming smile was hard to beat.
Only one person, Patricia Rosendale, his college sweetheart, could rival him in kindness. She was his perfect match and his guiding compass through every turn.
They loved Nantucket and are forever connected to the waters off Hermosa Beach, California, and Giants Neck Beach in Niantic, Conn. In between, they let the Manhattan skyline give them life’s best views.
Glenn and Patti Florio’s greatest love and pride were their sons Glenn Jr. and Cooper, now 19 and 16. Glenn Jr.’s kind and observant nature and Cooper’s drive and intuition are their father’s best-bestowed gifts.
Their many happy times as a family were upended by Patti Florio’s death in 2014. After the loss of his beloved wife, Glenn Florio decided to end his career as a financial analyst and looked to his other love, rowing, to guide him through. He became a coach at The US Coast Guard Academy. To his fellow mariners, he was a beacon of light, and he will be sorely missed.
His family said, “We find ourselves yearning for just another minute with this exceptional father, son, brother, uncle, coach, and friend. Like the lyrics of his favorite James Taylor song, ‘Fire and Rain’, ‘Thought I’d see you one more time again’ rings true for all of us.”
In addition to his sons, Mr. Florio is survived by his mother Gail and siblings Robert, Scott, Michael, and Jennifer and their families.
At his sons’ request, a private family gathering will take place in Nantucket and reunite Glenn and Patti Florio on its sandy shores. A larger celebration of his life will be held in the spring of 2021.
The family has started a GoFundMe to provide for Glenn and Cooper Florio’s education.