Remembering Art Marciano

Westport has long been an educational pioneer. From the 1950s on, our school district’s many assets included its high number of superb — and highly respected — male elementary school teachers.

One of the most well known — to thousands of students, and their grateful parents — was Art Marciano.

Beginning in 1959, and for over 3 decades, he taught 4th through 6th grades. Marciano died Monday, at 88.

Art Marciano

A Waterbury native, and the youngest of 7 children, he owned a flower store before entering the military. He attended Central Connecticut State College on the GI Bill, then earned 2 master’s degrees from Columbia University Teachers College.

After being hired by the Westport school district, Marciano supplemented what were traditionally low teachers’ salaries by working at Ed Mitchell’s.

But those were the days when many teachers — even men — lived in Westport. He and his wife Suse — a German native — raised 2 sons, Martin and Tristan, here. He passed on his love of classical music to them.

Marciano and Suse were married for 56 years. Long after retirement, when they walked at Compo Beach, former students would rush up, talk, and say thank you for all he had done for them, many years ago.

He cherished those students, and his long friendships with colleagues. His obituary singles out Sid Birnbaum — another in Westport’s outstanding list of male elementary school teachers.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated for Marciano on Saturday, June 24 (11 a.m.), at St. Luke Church. A reception follows, in the community room.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to Staples Tuition Grants or St. Luke  Church Community Outreach Fund.

10 responses to “Remembering Art Marciano

  1. Art Marciano was my sixth grade teacher at Kings Highway. What a great, fantastic man, teacher, and friend to generations of students. I have many fond memories of Mr. Marciano.. the best one was genius on his part. Last days of school we were throwing water balloons… of course this was not allowed… I was hiding mine in my baseball glove that was on my lap. Mr. Marciano was no fool, as he walked passed me, he poked my glove with a pin. He said nothing… and had the last laugh… thank you Mr Marciano you will be missed

  2. Michael Calise

    Very Sorry – One of Westport’s Best!

  3. Gerry Kuroghlian

    Art was one of the great supportive teachers in the annals of Westport education. I was fortunate to know his family both in and out of school. His love of music brought the Marcianos to many Fairfield Chorale Concerts. My sympathy to Suse, Martin and Tristan,

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Mr. Marciano is easily the finest elementary school teacher I have ever known and perhaps the finest person. As a child, I carried a lot of personal baggage with me to school because I couldn’t leave it at home. School was like a prison for me. Until he came along.

    Mr. Marciano and I connected in stark contrast to his predecessors. He took the time to treat me as an individual and like the person I was expected to become. He set the stage for my success because he enabled it.

    I recall clearly his joy upon the birth of his firstborn Tristan in 1963/64.
    He shared it with us as if we were family. We all felt that Tristan was the luckiest child in the world to have him for a father. We were equally lucky because he was our teacher.

    Certainly his was a life well lived and he enabled achievement and success for countless other children of that I am sure.

  5. Linda Durakis

    Mr. Marciano was my 6th grade math teacher. I found him to always be fair and a very nice and kind person. My condolences to his family.

  6. Joyce Bottone

    Beautifully said Dan. Thank you for taking the time to share. I wish I’d had Mr. Marciano as a teacher but I was fortunate to grow up with him as a dear family friend. So many fond memories. (Picnics a Burying Hill Beach, Easter gatherings, Kaffeeklasch, good conversations and his love for the arts. I always admired how he’d read the New York Times and know about the latest exhibits, etc. Mr. M will forever be in my heart and it’s wonderful to hear of how he’s touched so many people. He really was one of Westport quiet gems. As my 91 year old mom says, “Art was a genuinely kind and gentle friend who was born to be teacher who had such patience, even when he’d help her come up with property English word” .

  7. I met Art and his wife Suse thru a mutual friend at S.T.A.R. Both were very active volunteers when we were busy raising funds for the building back in the 60 and 70.
    You could not asked for a more gentle , caring and witty friend than Art.
    I have very fond memories of sitting around the Table enjoying Suse’s delicious cakes and listening to the soft sound of Mozart or Bach in the background.

  8. I am a cousin and I have beautiful memories of my wonderful cousin Arthur. He was like a dear brother to me, all through the years, especially when we were younger and would spend time together more often. He was so smart and always so very wise about everything. He was interested in art and music and was a talented painter himself, but was so modest about his accomplishments and fine qualities. Most of all, Arthur was gentle and patient and kind, one of the kindest men I have ever known.. He was a great man.

  9. Palma Horst

    When Lili Maglione became my mother-in-law, I had the great pleasure of getting to know Arthur, his lovely wife Susan, and his sons Martin and Tristan. I was immediately struck by his kind and gentle nature, and his wisdom. He always reminded me of my father in this way. Doug and I didn’t have the opportunity to see him often, but I will always remember his kindness and deep interest in all of us, and what a loving husband and father he was. May God grant him his well-earned eternal peaceful rest. Our love and thoughts go out to Suse, Martin, Tristan, Maite, and family.

  10. He was a dear man. I’ve know him since I was 8. Always made a person feel valued. I would see him through the years as Tristan has always been a close friend. Art loved and was loved. Lived up to his values- a reader, a music lover, culturally and politically astute. He emanated kindnesss and thoughtfulness. Though it hurts to know he’s gone, it is sweet to ponder the fact that he had a full run. He will be missed, but not forgotten by those who knew. I pray his beloved wife, Suse, is comforted by the beautiful partnership they had. I recall, growing up, seeing them going for long walks in my neighborhood. In this age of bombast and limited attention span, we would do well to consider the layered dynamics of such a human being as dear Arthur Marciano.