MANHATTAN, N.Y. and BROOKLIN — Carol Rogge Angell, a legendary, widely admired and much loved teacher of reading and learning skills at the Brearley School, died on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at her home in Manhattan of metastatic breast cancer, at the age of 73.
She leaves her husband of 48 years, Roger Angell; a son, John Henry Angell of Portland, Ore.; a stepdaughter, Alice Angell, of Portland, Maine; a granddaughter, Clara Rose Angell; two step-granddaughters, Laura Gibbons and Lily Anna Evangelista; and a brother, Dr. Peter Rogge, of Sacramento, Calif.
She was a spirited, light-hearted, gently ironic woman who conveyed her passionate bond to literature and writing to generations of young students, many of whom remember her as a life changer and a life model.
Born in New York, she was a graduate of the Garden School, in Queens, Bucknell University and the Columbia Graduate School of Education. Shifting careers after employment as a copy editor with American Heritage Magazine and the Bollingen Series, she came to Brearley in 1980, joining the Department of Reading and Testing (now the Department of Learning Skills), which specializes in intensive work with beginning readers. She served as chairman of the department from 1997 to 2006, but continued as a teacher there until last fall. Her responsibilities included individual tutoring of Upper School English students, which meant that an average day would find her reading “Frog and Toad Are Friends” with her first-grade group in one period and then conferring with a senior over a knotty “King Lear” paper in the next. Her informality could not quite conceal her professional brilliance, which brought her repeated awards of Brearley’s “Chair of Excellence.” She also established a long-term connection with the East Harlem Storefront School, where she taught during sabbatical leaves. Friends knew her as an effortless but magical cook, a cheerful wife and mother, and a serious devotee of fox terriers and Verdi and Trollope. Summers took her back to her porch in Maine, where, sitting with another open book, she would lift her eyes briefly to the sunlit adjacent waters of Eggemoggin Reach, and then of course, go right on reading.