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Bartholomew "Bart" LaRocca

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Bartholomew "Bart" LaROCCA Bartholomew "Bart" LaRocca, age 94, died peacefully with his family at his side at his home Sunday, March 20, 2011. Bart is survived by hiswife of 13 years, Gail; son, Jerome (Michelle) LaRocca; daughters, Donna LaRocca and Regina LaRocca; 4 step-children; 2 grandchildren, Kristen and Matthew; 11 step-grandchildren and 7 step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 50 years, Albina LaRocca in 1996. Born in Sicily, he entered the US at Ellis Island in 1921 and grew up in New Orleans. Perhaps it was the city's musical influence, as well as being related to Nick LaRocca, founderof the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, that sparked his lifelong interestand participation in music. The trombone was his chosen instrument, and he was a member of his high school band, as well as at the University of Southern California before his enlistment in the US Marine Corps prior to Pearl Harbor. The Marines became his second passion, and he elected to make it a career, serving until 1962. Retraining as an accountant, Bart's second career was primarily at Solar Turbines, Intl. of San Diego, CA, from where he retired in 1979. Relocating in 1980 to WA, Bart soon took up the instrument again to play in the Bremerton Symphony. After Albina's passing, music became the connection to the next part of his life, when he met Gail as they both participated in the Enumclaw Band. Together they attended symphonies and operas, gave music lessons in their home, and attended Bart's MarineCorps Musician Association annual reunions. A sufferer of age-related macular degeneration in his last years, he received invaluable assistance from the VA that allowed him to continue to read. Bart requests donations to the National Federation of the Blind in lieu of flowers. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, 03/26/11 at 2:00 p.m. at BONNEY-WATSON Federal Way, 1535 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA. (253)839-7317. Please sign the guest book at www.bonneywatson.com.
Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 24, 2011
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