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In loving memory of Rocchina DiPaolo DellaFortuna (1933 – 2023)
With sorrow and fond memories, we share that Rocchina DellaFortuna passed away peacefully on November 2, 2023.
It was on February 2, 1933, Rocchina was born to Felicia and Gerardo DiPaolo in Lioni, Compania, Italy. Growing up in a small farmhouse with her parents, her two sisters and brother, Rocchina left school after the third grade to help her parents work on the farm tending to the animals, making cheese, olive oil, bread, and wine. It was during this time that she discovered her love of cooking and gardening and learned the skills that would last her throughout her life.
During World War II, Rocchina recalled her memories of her parents, burying food in barrels and camouflaging them with dirt and rocks to hide their food from the German Soldiers. It was the American Soldiers who helped her family by steering the German Soldiers away from their farm.
At 18, Rocchina left the farm life behind and boarded the cruise ship Saturnia by herself to come to America. After a month crossing the Atlantic, she arrived at the port in New York City. Upon arrival she began working at the L. Giddy dress shop in Bound Brook where she ironed dresses. Years later, she would continue her working career at Koba Corporation, along with her husband.
Rocchina met her husband, Amato, while they were still in Italy. While she left for America, Amato remained in Italy serving as a Carabinieri in Livorno, Italy. They continued communicating through letters and upon Rocchina’s return to Italy they were married on September 21, 1957 in Pompeii, Italy. Rocchina returned to America and a short time later Amato followed and the couple made a home in Raritan, NJ.
In 1958, her daughter Roseann was born and in 1966, the family made the move to North Plainfield. Her biggest joys in life were her daughter Roseann and her beloved granddaughter Adriana Patullo with whom she shared many cherished memories and many fun times and laughs.
While working and raising her daughter she continued her love of cooking and gardening.
Rocchina was happiest when she had her family and friends sitting around the table with her homemade ravioli, gnocchi, pasta fagioli, and other Italian specialties which most of the time included fresh vegetables from her garden. If she wasn’t cooking or gardening, she could be found crocheting and knitting. For vacation Rocchina and Amato enjoyed cruising and went on 12 Princess Cruises. They also enjoyed frequent trips to the casinos where she found her luck at the slot machines.
Rocchina is now reunited with those who predeceased her including her loving husband Amato, her parents Felicia and Gerardo DiPaolo, and her sister Matilde and her husband Ernesto Natale, and sister Vincenza and her husband Vincent Ferraro, and her brother-in-law Alfonso DellaFortuna.
Left to continue her legacy is her devoted daughter Roseann Patullo and her husband Joseph, and her loving granddaughter Adriana.
Rocchina is also survived by her brother Joseph and wife Maria DiPaolo, brother-in-law Gerardo and wife Rosario, brother-in-law Armando and wife Elia, brother-in-law Mario and wife Paula, and sister-in-law Maria. As well as countless nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Rocchina was a member of the North Plainfield Seniors and a parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. She was an avid animal lover who found joy in rescuing feral cats.
Visiting hours will be held from 4-7PM on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the Bridgewater Funeral Home, 707 East Main Street, Bridgewater. Prayers will be said 9AM on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023 at the funeral home, followed by a 10 AM Mass of Resurrection at St. Bernard’s Church in Bridgewater. Entombment will follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetery, Bridgewater.
In lieu of follows donations may be made to the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, 100 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807, or Capic Cat Rescue located at 6 Bell Ave, Raritan, NJ 08869 (908-510-5746).