Rose J. La Rocca
Rhinebeck – All of Rose La Rocca’s family and friends celebrate her life of compassionate hospitality. Rose loved her family in her Italian-American home and restaurant, both in Rhinebeck, New York. She died peacefully at home on March 30, 2022 surrounded by her loved ones. He was a benevolent soul who generated warmth in the hearts of those around him.
Rose was born on September 3, 1921, in the “Roaring Twenties,” to Vincenza Forlenza and Giovanni “John” Marino at their home on 116th Street, New York City. The eighth of nine children, his parents were immigrants from Italy. Rose grew up in Brooklyn. When she was little, one Christmas, she unwrapped one of her pre-holiday gifts, went rollerblading in her new skates, and cleverly put the pair back in the box! As a young girl, Rose enjoyed going out to Coney Island with her family and friends. A fan of swing music, his older brother, John, taught him to dance the “Lindy”. During the summers, while a student at Public School 176, she worked her first job at an ice cream factory with her sister, Fay. When Rose turned 16, her mother gave her $500 to get into beauty school. She worked as a beautician and after her marriage she was employed as an AT&T telephone operator in Manhattan.
Rose met the love of her life, Edward Theodore “Ted” La Rocca when they were both teenagers. They never had eyes for anyone else. Ted joined the army in 1941, was discharged in 1942, then drafted in 1943. On September 11, 1943, while Ted was home on leave, they were married at the Church of St. Rosalia in Brooklyn. They wrote love letters and sent photos throughout World War II, while Ted bravely served in the United States Army, deployed in Western and Central Europe. The two had a delayed honeymoon in Niagara Falls and later had two children, Mary Jane and Robert.
After the war, Rose and Ted were inspired by her older sisters Felicia “Fay” and Mary “May”, two successful restaurateurs. In 1955 Rose and Ted moved to Rhinebeck, NY and established the Silver Pine Restaurant (which name was changed in the early 1970s to Fox Hollow Inn). Together they served American and Italian cuisine for 41 delicious years. Rose was the restaurant’s head chef, having studied at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, NY. She specialized in pastries and desserts. She was famous for her cheesecakes and also designed stunning wedding cakes for clients. The restaurant operated until 1996 when Rose retired.
Rose remained focused on her life goals. She and her husband fully funded their two children’s college education and fed her children and grandchildren while operating the family restaurant. Rose was an exemplary mother.
Rose loved to cook and did it faithfully for the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rhinebeck. She made special cookies and pastries for her friends, family, local community groups, and even her doctors.
Rose has remained active throughout her life. She drove her car until she was 88 and was active at the Northern Dutchess Hospital Wellness Centre. She and her “gym buddies” took turns choosing a restaurant for lunch each month. She always chose December and always chose Terrapin for their festive lunch.
She enjoyed birdwatching at home and admired red-headed woodpeckers. When she was not amused by birds, Rose enjoyed music, shows and literature. Her favorite opera was Carmen. Bye Bye Birdie and Cats were his favorite musicals; Gone with the Wind was his favorite movie. She enjoyed I Love Lucy on television and she was an avid reader of historical fiction. Its best authors were James Patterson, Belva Plain, Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory. Rose was such a voracious reader that family members only bought books published in the current year. She always had time to feed her family or comfort a weary traveler looking for a home-cooked meal. His century-long love will be truly missed.
Rose was predeceased by her parents, siblings and husband, Ted La Rocca. Rose is survived by her daughter, Mary Jane Montalto of Rhinebeck; son Robert L. La Rocca and son-in-law Christopher S. La Rocca of Colony; sisters-in-law Kay Marino of Flushing, NY and Jeannette Marino of Edgewater, NJ; and grandsons Christopher Montalto of Rhinebeck and Mark Montalto of Providence, RI. She leaves behind her grandchildren, Christopher S. and Shannon L. Rambo and a great-grandson, Andrew S. Rambo of Wilmington, North Carolina. Rose is survived by many devoted nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Dutchess County Hospice in Rose’s name. All condolence cards can be sent to: Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home at 51 West Market St., PO Box 515, Rhinebeck, NY 12572. There will be a private family service at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY on March 13 , 2022. A celebration of life will be held in Rhinebeck on September 10, 2022.
Arrangements are under the direction of Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, 51 W. Market Street, Rhinebeck.
To sign the register online, please visit dapsonchestney.com
Posted on April 02, 2022
Posted in Poughkeepsie Journal