CHICOPEE - Rocco J. “Rocky” Calabrese, 95, formerly of Hillcrest Street in Chicopee passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at BSMC in Springfield. Rocky was born on March 5, 1924 in Springfield to the late Gennaro and Maria Antonia (Daniele) Calabrese. He was raised and educated in Springfield, attending local schools. During WWII, he joined the US Army, serving with the 257th Ordnance Company. He saw action in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Central Europe and Rhineland. He received seven (7) major campaign and battle ribbons and medals for his service. Honorably discharged in 1945, he returned home and married Helen Peskovitz on August 3, 1946 and they settled in Chicopee. Rocco began his career with the Springfield Armory as an Inspector before the war and eventually rose to the head of Quality Control for the Armory. He later worked for GE and Dennison before retiring. Rocco and Helen were longtime members of St. Patrick’s Church in Chicopee. Rocco enjoyed traveling with his wife and especially rides throughout New England. He loved playing golf, starting out as a caddy at the age of 13 and playing well into his late 80’s. He leaves his two devoted sons: Deacon Robert P. Calabrese and his wife Kathryn of Georgia and Rocco J. Calabrese Jr. and his wife Karen of Maryland; four cherished grandchildren: David, James, Jared and Clark Calabrese; and four great grandchildren: Zachary, Mia, Egan and Maximillian Calabrese. He was predeceased by his five dear siblings: Rose Odato, Domenic, Joe and Nick Calabrese and Mary Calvanese. The family invites you to join them on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 11:30 AM directly at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 123 William St., Springfield to celebrate the Liturgy of Christian Burial for Rocky. Burial with full Military honors will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main St. Agawam. Donations in Rocco’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, the Springfield Armory Museum or Providence Place.
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