"Big Kid" With a Big Job
For Antonio Rocha, one of the best things about having kids was that it gave him an excuse to go back to Disney World. Mr. Rocha, who brokered bonds at Cantor Fitzgerald when he was not bonding with Goofy and Mickey, had made the pilgrimage three times with his wife, Marilyn, and once with his wife and daughter, Alyssa, and he looked forward to taking his son, Ethan, who was born last March.
"He was just a big kid," Ms. Rocha said. "One of the last things we did together was go down to Point Pleasant" — on the Jersey Shore — "and he rode on all the rides with Alyssa, the teacups and everything like that." Mr. Rocha, 34, loved to take Alyssa riding on the back of his bike near their home in East Hanover, N.J. He even played with Barbie dolls with her.
Of course Mr. Rocha had some slightly more grownup interests, too. He traveled all over the country to see Formula One car races. He loved to golf.
And he even approached his vacations with a certain degree of seriousness, planning every last detail. In mid-September, the Rochas were to take their first trip with Ethan, to St. Lucia. Marilyn Rocha still has the stack of hotel listings and restaurant menus. "I'm going to definitely try to take that trip someday," she said, "stay at the same hotel, eat at the same restaurants. It will be the easiest trip to plan."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 6, 2002.
Antonio Augusto Rocha, 34, bond broker
At the Rocha home in East Hanover, it is difficult to find a surface that isn't covered with photographs of Antonio Augusto, 34, who was known as Tony. He is on the refrigerator, smiling with his family and Mickey Mouse at Disney World. And there he is on the counter, cheek-to-cheek with his infant son.
Besides his family, he also loved his new job at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, which he joined as a bond broker in June. He formerly worked for Garban Securities on the 55th floor of the World Trade Center North Tower. The new job was on the 105th floor.
Last Tuesday morning, Mr. Rocha left his sleeping family for work at 6 a.m. At 8:49 a.m., he called his wife at home.
"He said for me to turn on the TV and not to be scared, but there was a lot of fire, and he was going to try to get out of there," she said. Then the phone line went dead.
Born in Seia, Portugal, where he lived until 1970, Mr. Rocha moved to New York City, where he earned a bachelor's degree at Manhattan College.
He met his wife, Marilyn, 12 years ago at a mutual friend's wedding. The couple lived in Kearny for three years and moved to East Hanover in 1997. They have two children, Alyssa Marie, 3, and Ethan Agustus, 6 months.
"He was a good person. He was a smart person," said Marilyn Rocha. "He loved his kids. My daughter, especially, will miss him very much."
In his spare time, he enjoyed golf, car racing and working as a handyman.
"Tony was like a man of all trades," said Fatima Devens, Marilyn Rocha's cousin. Whenever anyone in the family needed anything to be fixed, Devens said, the reaction was the same: "Let's call Tony because he knows everything."
"He was a great guy," his wife said. "He'll be very much missed."
Also surviving are Mr. Rocha's parents, Augusto Nunes and Rosa Correia Rocha, and a brother, Jason, all of Manhattan, and Manuel and Maria Marques of Kearny, his parents-in-law.
Visitation will be today from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Shaw-Buyus Home for Services at 138 Davis Ave., Kearny. The funeral will start at the funeral home tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and proceed to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, where a funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover.
Contributions may be made to the American Red Cross.
Profile by Paula Saha published in THE STAR-LEDGER.