By ROCCO MAGLIO
Rose Rocco passed away after a long battle with cancer on Nov. 7, 2019. A memorial service was held for her on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.
Rose Rocco loved her community. She served as a Hernando County Commissioner from November 21, 2006 through November 15, 2010. She was concerned with making sure that the community took care of those less fortunate and that our natural resources were preserved for the next generation.
Rose Rocco supported her community in many ways in addition to being an elected official. She served as the President and a founding member of the Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Citizen Support Organization. She was the Treasurer of the Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority and the founder of Operation PRIDE, Inc., a cleanup and recycling program in the county.
Rose Rocco was a Democrat in Hernando, although she was respected on both sides of the aisle. Jeff Holcomb Chairman of the Republican Executive Committee sent a letter expressing his sadness and letting people know about her funeral arrangements.
In 2014, Rose Rocco ran against Blaise Ingoglia for State Representative. He was the Republican candidate and she was the Democratic candidate with Mr. Ingoglia winning the general election. Upon learning of her death Mr. Ingoglia wrote “Just learned that Rose Rocco just passed away. She was my first opponent for State Representative. Even though we were on different sides of the aisle we always remained good friends both before and after the election. Hernando County will miss her. And, so will I.”
Rose married Peter Rocco 58 years ago and they have three children, six grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. Rose loved her family and was very proud of her children and grandchildren.
Destiny Baptist church Pastor Mel Harris spoke of how Rose Rocco was an honorary member of the church. One time when he sang “Amazing Grace” she told him he needed to sing that song more often, so he sang it at her celebration of life. He recalled how she spoke with her eyes. She was always encouraging. Her eyes would tell you how she was feeling.
He found that he only had to look at her eyes to know what she was feeling. She had the most amazing ability which was making you feel love. She put her heart into your heart.
Mrs. Beverly Brown President of the Democratic Women’s Club spoke about how Rose made her feel as if she was a childhood friend when they had first met. She then presented a resolution honoring Rose Rocco on behalf of the Democratic Woman’s Club.
Pete Rocco, Rose’s son, spoke about how she was a fighter. She was also a mother. When she heard he was taking the family to New York, she would warn him to hold the kids’ hands tight so they were not kidnapped. She would call to warn them about families that she had read about that were snowed in their home for weeks, when she heard they would be getting snow in Arizona. Each phone call ended with … “What?! I am just worried about you.” She lived with an illness for so many years, but still continued to touch people’s lives.
Paul Douglas president of the NAACP shared some of his memories of Rose. He said he made the mistake of telling Rose that he was thinking of running for the commission, but was not sure if he should run. So she had to have a talk with him and encouraged him to run.
Rose Rocco worked hard to improve the community and we are better for it. She followed her heart and was passionate about helping others. She was a devoted mother, wife, and friend to many.