Dr. Alfred “Fred” Rotondaro, former COGRF Board Member longtime friend of Nyumbani founder, Fr. D’Agostino, passed away this June at the age of 78. We wanted to take time to honor Fred and his long standing dedication and commitment to Nyumbani.
Fred and Fr. D’Ag first crossed paths in Washington D.C. in the mid 1970’s when Fred became the Executive Director of the National Italian-American Foundation (NIAF). NIAF was founded in 1975 and Fr. D’Ag was one of the charter members of its first board. Prior to NIAF, Fred was the Executive Director at the Community Progress Council (York, PA) and the Director of the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs (Washington D.C.).
The two Italians, both very active in D.C., quickly formed a strong friendship that would last decades. Fred grew the NIAF to a major force of prominent and nationally famous Italian-Americans, serving as Executive Director for 22 years.
When Fr. D’Ag went to Kenya, the two kept in touch and through the years of their friendship Fred was always a consistent supporter of Fr. D’Ag and his work, especially Nyumbani. Each summer, when Fr. D’Ag would travel state side, Fred would set up a meeting of the NIAF Board and have Fr. D’Ag speak. Fred ensured that Fr. D’Ag left each meeting with generous donations to further his work in Kenya.
Fred’s wife, Kathleen Mullan Rotondaro, also supported the cause, assisting greatly in the planning of numerous Annual Benefit Dinners in Nyumbani’s early years. In recent years, Fred became a member of the COGRF Board and attended every Benefit when he was in town, bringing many prominent friends to join him and Kathleen in support of Nyumbani.
Fred will always be remembered as a longtime friend of Fr. Dag and generous supporter of Nyumbani. We will miss him.
Click here to view Dr. Rotondaro’s obituary.