Stephen Roccograndi, 53, of Forty Fort passed away peacefully Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Golden Living Center East Mountain, with his loving family by his side, after a long battle with cancer. Stephen faced his illness with courage and bravery rarely seen, to which his many caregivers over the years will attest, putting others before himself right up until the end. These same caregivers would also fondly recall his stubbornness as well.
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Stephen was born in Wilkes-Barre on July 9, 1959, the son of Thomas and Carol Roccograndi of Forty Fort. Stephen did not have the easiest life. He truly was a miracle, having beaten the odds and surviving a terrible battle with tuberculosis during which he was given last rites twice before he was 2 years old.
He lived a happy childhood, and as an adult he faced many challenges, but through it all he kept us laughing. He was known for his kindness and selflessness, the twinkle in his eye and his silly and cute little grin.
Stephen was such a sweet, polite and gentle man and everyone that knew and cared for him couldn't help but love him. He really made a lasting impression on people, never forgetting a name once he was introduced. He was ever thankful and generous to all who crossed his path. Stephen will be sadly missed by all those whose lives he touched.
Stephen had an adventurous spirit and was a true wanderer! Short or long distances, it didn't matter.
Stephen attended Wyoming Valley West schools, worked at the family-owned business, My Brother's Place Home Improvement Center, The Greenhouse Center, Wilkes-Barre, and most recently was a volunteer at the SPCA, Plains Township. He had a love of all animals and was always available to remove even a spider, after which he would take it outside and set it free.
In addition to his parents, Stephen is survived by sisters, Carolyn Roccograndi Mazur, Forty Fort; and Linda Roccograndi Bravyak and husband, Jack, also of Forty Fort; brothers, Thomas, Luzerne; Gary and wife, Judie, West Wyoming; David, Pringle; and James and his partner, Audrey Marut, Forty Fort; in addition to many nieces and nephews, and a large extended family.
Viewing will be held at Hugh B. Hughes & Son Inc. Funeral Home, 1044 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort. Friends and family may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Funeral services will be held at 8:45 a.m. Friday at the funeral home, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Church, 605 Luzerne Ave., West Pittston. Interment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Wyoming.
The family would also like to thank Dr. Kapp and the staff at Clarks Summit State Hospital, Dr. Watson and his team at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Golden Living Center East Mountain and Community Counseling Service, Bear Creek, for the care and encouragement they gave to Stephen during his illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in Stephen's name to Clarks Summit State Hospital, 1451 Hillside Drive, Clarks Summit, PA 18411, Attention: Partnership for Clarks Summit, or Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111, Attention: Institutional Advancement.
Published in Citizens' Voice from Oct. 28 to Oct. 31, 2012