GARFIELD, N.J. – Rocco R. Chirico, a longtime resident of Garfield, died Friday, April 22. He was 105.
Born Oct. 10, 1910 in South Alessio in Aspromonte, Calabria, Italy, he came to the United States with his family at age 10 and settled in Garfield.
While attending school in Garfield, he excelled in track and field. He held the record in Bergen County and was second in the state by running the half-mile in 2 minutes. He became a U.S. citizen in 1936 and was a lifelong Democrat.
He graduated from John Marshall College in 1937 and was appointed to the U.S. Bar in 1940. He continued to practice law until his retirement in the 1990s. During his law career, he served as an attorney to such various city agencies as the Garfield Housing Authority and Board of Health. He also served as interim City Magistrate.
During his retirement, his favorite pastimes were tending his vegetable garden, reading the Bergen Record, especially the editorials of Alfred Doblin, and learning about the solar system. His favorite television viewing was Judge Judy and, despite suffering from macular degeneration, tennis was his favorite sport to watch on TV. He enjoyed these hobbies until his passing.
He is survived by his three daughters Diana, Pamela (Robert) Bratt and Karen (Seth) Vogelstein; and granddaughter Gabrielle Vogelstein.
He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret Chirico, in 2012; and his sister and brothers.
There will be no viewing. A memorial service is planned for a later date.
Donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Aloia Funeral Home, 180 Harrison Ave., Garfield.
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