Navy SEAL Robert Guzzo, Portsmouth High grad, actor, dies in California
PORSTMOUTH — Portsmouth High School graduate and football standout Robert Bryan Guzzo, 33, a Navy SEAL and actor, died Sunday, Nov. 12, 2012, in San Diego, Calif.
Born on Jan. 3, 1979, he was the son of HMCS (SEAL) Robert Guzzo now of Raleigh, NC, and Lieutenant Commander Robin Andersen of Portsmouth, and was the father of Jena Mae "who lit up his world."
"He was the happiest guy with the biggest smile that I ever came across," said PHS friend Matt Plumb who played football (Rob was a linebacker) and hockey with Mr. Guzzo. "When he became a SEAL we were all tremendously proud of him."
"Rob led a life of dedication to his family, friends, SEAL Team 5 and his country," says his obituary. According to the life story published by the Poway-Bernardo Mortuary in San Diego, "Rob was born into the Navy in San Diego and ... graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1997 where he also was a star linebacker on the football team. True-to-form, he drove his coaches crazy because his natural talent was far stronger than his patience for enduring endless hot summer practices. Rob just wanted to be in the game, he wanted the action." He went on to State University of New York College at Cortland where he majored in political science.
Upon graduation in 2000, he joined Navy SEAL Team 5. He trained in Coronado, California, and was deployed to Iraq in 2006 where he served as a communications specialist. "The brotherhood he found there, the missions, the sense of accomplishment – all shaped who he was to his core." He was awarded the Navy Commendation medal with Valor for his combat action in Iraq. "He believed in what he fought for and he died trying to overcome the losses he encountered there."
He appeared in several movies and television shows, including Transformer: Dark of the Moon. He was studying for a masters degree in Kinesiology while continuing to pursue acting roles.
In addition to his immediate family, Rob is also survived by siblings Danielle, Marissa, Kiel, Aaron and Taylor; grandmothers Shirley Ludwin of San Diego, and Patricia Guzzo of Buffalo NY; stepmother Dana Guzzo, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will also be held at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to his daughter, Jena Mae Trussell (Guzzo) at the Navy Federal Credit Union. His PHS classmates (Class of ’97) have made arrangements that checks, noting "Jena Mae/Rob Guzzo," may be sent to Portsmouth High School, 120 Education Lane, Portsmouth, RI, 02871.