School 12
Official Obituary of

Louis J. Esparo

July 23, 2023

Louis Esparo Obituary

On July 23, 2023, Louis John Esparo (Lou) passed away peacefully. He was 84 years old.

Lou was born in 1939 in Woodbridge, CT, to his late parents Louis Esparo Sr. and Carrie (Minichino) Esparo. Louis Jr. was their second of three children, the younger brother of Vito Esparo (deceased), and the eventual older brother of sister Barbara (Dixon).

Lou was an excellent student. He attended Notre Dame High School in West Haven, CT, where he played football and participated in the glee club, where he was appointed the club’s soloist in his first year. Lou’s silky-smooth baritone voice earned him a singing scholarship to Fairfield University, where he achieved both a bachelor's and master’s degree.

While attending Fairfield, Lou met the love of his life, Mary Ann Grillo of Hamden, CT. They married on June 18, 1960, and had two children, Alicia (Whitehead) and Mark. They remained married for 55 years until Mary Ann passed away in 2015.

Lou became a teacher and eventually Principal in the Orange, CT school system. His teaching and administrative prowess caught the attention of senior administrators who nominated him to receive a fellowship into the J. Stewart Mott doctoral program at Michigan State University, where Lou achieved his Ph.D. in educational leadership.

Lou’s career advanced quickly. He was recruited to become Assistant Superintendent of Interboro School System in suburban Philadelphia and was quickly promoted to Superintendent.

Recruiters soon caught wind of Lou’s talents and enticed him to pursue a highly competitive Superintendent of Schools position in his home state of CT. Lou won the job and proudly served as Superintendent of Schools of the Torrington School District from 1976 to 1986. He went on to lead the Pomperaug Regional School District 15 as Superintendent from 1986 to 1997.

Lou received the Connecticut Superintendent of the Year award in 1996, the Connecticut Association of Public-School Superintendents Distinguished Service Award in 1998, and was elected its President the same year. During this time, he authored two books that were published by Brown University.

Lou retired from public school administration in 1998 to co-found Goens/Esparo LLC, an educational leadership consulting firm. Lou and his partner George built their business into a leading consultancy before retiring in 2010.

Lou and Mary Ann retired to Boston, where they enjoyed a city lifestyle in the Italian neighborhood of the North End. They were active in several neighborhood groups and were well respected by many of their neighbors.

Lou is survived by his sister Barbara and her husband Brian Dixon, daughter Alicia and her husband Eric Whitehead, granddaughter Marley Whitehead, grandson Miles Gallagher, son Mark, and his wife Lynne Esparo.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held in Woodbridge, CT, in the fall. More information to come.

Donations in Lou’s memory can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization he generously supported for many years in memory of his mother:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Louis J. Esparo, please visit our floral store.

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