Domenico Rocco of Wayne, NJ, died peacefully at home in his sleep on the morning of March 6, 2018. Domenick was 88 years young.
Domenick was born on December 25, 1929 in Serino, Italy, a small province of Avellino (Campania). Domenick attended school in Italy and served in the Italian military. Domenick’s father, Raffaele Rocco, and mother, Annina Rocco (nee Bernabo), resided in Serino, Italy and owned a chestnut processing and export business. Domenick was the oldest of two sons.
Domenick’s father, Raffaele Rocco, served as mayor of Serino for many years. In the early 1950’s during a visit to Paterson, NJ, Domenick’s father was given the key of the city of Paterson by the mayor of the time, Lester F. Titus. Domenick revered his father Raffaele. He never ceased to voice his father’s many accomplishments as a beloved mayor of Serino.
In 1953, in order to overcome financial hardships, Domenick and his family traveled to America and settled in Paterson, NJ. Domenick began working at a dye house in Paterson and later switched to restaurants where he pursued his love for cooking. Domenick embodied the American dream and became an ardent restaurateur. His last two restaurants were the Mona Lisa in West Paterson on McBride Avenue, and La Trattoria in Paterson on the corner of Ellison Street and Cianci Street. Domenick was known for his huge portions, delicious vodka sauce, homemade limoncello, joke telling, and singing to his customers at the end of the night. Domenick had a love for cooking, but his deep passion for people is what truly made him special.
Domenick was a member of the Roma Sport Club and played club soccer with his brother and friends. Domenick loved trips to the Jersey shore with his friends.
On February 16, 1969, Domenick married Joan (nee Cavallo) of Totowa Boro, NJ and had four children. Domenick valued true friendship, had a deep love for Paterson, and always kept his door open for friends and family. Domenick and his family moved to Wayne, NJ in 1976.
Domenick maintained a strong bond with his family and friends back in Serino, Italy. He periodically visited his home town with his wife and children as they were growing up; so that they could continue a connection despite the distance. A mass in Domenick’s honor is being held by his many relatives and friends on Monday, March 12, 2018 in his home town of Serino.
Domenick is survived by his two daughters: Margaret A. Fiore, Giovanna J. Simone; two sons Raffaele D. Rocco, Domenico J. Rocco; six grandchildren: Raquelle D. Rocco, Nico J. Fiore, Isabella R. Rocco, Maria J. Fiore, Domenico J. Rocco, Gemma G. Simone; daughter-in-law Patricia E. Rocco; son-in-law David R. Simone. Preceding him in death were his wife, Joan Rocco (nee Cavallo), and his brother, Gaetano Rocco.
Domenick loved life, and never lost his strong desire to live. Without life and love, hope departs; the passing of life is a divine intervention; our gateway to God’s universe.
Visitation will be held Sunday, March 11, 2018, 3–7 pm at Gaita Memorial Home, 154 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Little Falls. A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, March 12, 2018, 10:30am, at Saint Gerard Church, 501 W Broadway, Paterson – Those who desire to participate in the funeral procession, please arrive at the funeral home by 9:30 am. Relatives and friends are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made “In Memory of Domenico Rocco” to Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, C/O Father Mark, 381 Grand Street, Paterson, NJ 07505 – make checks payable to ST. JOHN’S CATHEDRAL.