Rocco P. Lucente
Ithaca - Rocco P. Lucente of Ithaca, NY died on March 12, 2018 at his home with his loving wife by his side. He was born April 2, 1929 in Cleveland, OH to the late Francesco and Marianna Lucente who had emigrated from Rutigliano, Italy. After graduating Ithaca High School, he pursued his entrepreneurial spirit and embarked on a career building houses. In 1950 he established Lucente Homes, and spent the next 68 years developing affordable homes and apartments for the residents of Ithaca. His real estate development stretched from Warren Road to Sapsucker Woods and Hanshaw Road to Route 13. Along the way he was elected President of the Finger Lakes Home Builders Association, was a member of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and the Builders and Remodelers Association. He also served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA and was a life-long member of the Elks Club. Over his lifetime he developed much of Northeast Ithaca, and in recognition of his accomplishments, the Town of Ithaca honored Rocco on his 85th Birthday by renaming Briarwood Drive, "Rocco Lucente Way."
When he wasn't building, you could find Rocco boating on Cayuga Lake or navigating the channels of SW Florida. He was also an avid fan and owner of luxury cars. In his later years he traveled frequently to Italy to visit family. On his last trip he had the privilege of meeting Pope Francis.
He was a parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Church. Over the last several years he developed a fond relationship with the parish priest, Father Joe Marcoux.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Waltraud Lucente, sons Christopher, Steve (Pat), Peter (Janet), and Jonathan Lucente, step-children George, Enrique(Sunny) and Susan (Jeff) Stiles along with Mark (Ann) and Michael (Marissa) Lesselroth. He also leaves behind grandchildren Charisse, Yvette, Vanessa, Veronica, Chris, M-Rocco, Max, Adele, Hannah, Katie, Grace, Logan and Gianna and several great grandchildren, and his loving family in Italy, including his cousins Gaetano Pierri and wife Elisa, who helped care for him until his last day. He was pre-deceased by his daughter Liane Jones and brother Donald Lucente.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, March 21 from 4 to 7pm at Bangs Funeral Home, on Thursday, March 22 at 10am at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, followed by a mass of Christian burial at 11am. The family wishes to extend a special thanks to Hospice care of Ithaca, NY. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Ithaca SPCA or Hospice.
Published in Ithaca Journal from Mar. 17 to Mar. 19, 2018.