Victor Joseph Rocco was born Aug. 17, 1916 in Windber, Pa., and passed peacefully at home in Ninilchik, Alaska, on June 8, 2013. He joins his wife, Frances Newell Rocco, and granddaughter, Roxanne Herndon. He is survived by his children: Vicki Rocco, Charlene Paight and friend Tad Smith; Kari Rocco and spouse, Tammi Becker; Richard Rocco and life-partner, David Ellsworth; grandchildren: Joleen Farebrother and fiancé, Dustin Holt; Lewis Herndon; four great-grandchild, including Cody Herndon; many nieces, nephews and friends. We'd also like to recognize those who helped the family care for him: Laura and Bobby Bentley, John Hart, Jodi Garner, Mary Fairall, Shad Sizemore. We also wish to thank Jean Shandy for bringing communion to Victor regularly and to Dave Shandy for arranging his Military Honors.
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He was born during WWI. The 1918 Spanish Flu claimed his father and all his brothers leaving his poor emigrant mother to raise him and his sisters on her own, during a time when women could not vote, a time before child-labor laws. His family was from Yugoslavia and only spoke Slovenian. If that wasn't hard enough, then came the Great Depression. Victor completed school and even went on to college. His major was Chemistry and had other vocational training in "Radio" and "Diesel" with plans for further training in "Stress Analysist", per his DD-214. Then came WWII and he was inducted into the Navy. He was very proud to be a Navy man and serve his country. Victor was honorably discharged in 1945 several months after Truman dropped the bomb. Following the Navy, he was an Engineer for many years in the Aerospace and Defense industry with General Dynamics. After retiring, he had many entrepreneurial adventures.
While in the Navy, he met his forever love, Frances, at a USO Dance in San Diego. They danced a few dances and he asked if he could see her again. She gave him her number thinking he wouldn't call. The very next day he showed up with his ol' Chevy car and took her to lunch on the beach. They raised four children and a grandchild in their Del Mar, Calif., home. In their later years, their eldest daughter cared for them until they moved to Alaska to spend the rest of their days. Victor is the last of his generation.
He had an amazing sense of humor and the gift of gab. Enjoyed golf, road trips, fishing, sports and dancing! He played softball until he was 86. His happy whistling will be missed.
Mass will be held 3 p.m. Friday, June 14 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Ninilchik, followed by burial service with Military Honors at the American Legion Cemetery in Ninilchik; immediately after, grace, dinner and a dance at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds. We suggest Tammy's Flowers and Gifts in Soldotna at 907-260-5355. Or donations can be made to the Ninilchik American Legion in his honor. For questions and contributions, please contact Charlene at 907-741-1329 or Joleen at 907-398-2469.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy. Kenai, AK 99611
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on June 12, 2013