Benedetto “Benny” Rocchio, 97, passed away at 2:43 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at his residence in Kokomo. Benny was born in Gallo, Italy, on Feb. 14, 1915, to the late Pasquale and Pasqua Rocchio (Pilla). His marriage to the former Beulah I. Irick was on Nov. 18, 1939, at St. Joan of Arc in Kokomo. Beulah preceded him in death on Jan. 31, 2009. He worked at Haynes Stellite as a foundry furnace operator for many years, retiring in 1977.
Benny served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He was the oldest surviving member of the 65th infantry Division, nicknamed the famed Battle Axe division, comprising a part of Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. Benny was a cannoneer in the 867th Field Artillery Battalion.
Survivors include a daughter, Janice McCracken and husband, Stephen, Carmel; a son, Patrick Rocchio, and wife, Theresa, New Buffalo, Mich.; grandchildren, Elizabeth Callahan and husband, Dr. James, Dr. Emily King and husband, Richard, Marisa McCracken and husband, James Dawson, Courtney McCracken and husband, Zachary Dobson, all of Carmel, Benedict Rocchio and wife, Carolyn, Wilmette, Ill., Eileen Haley and husband, Michael, Chicago, Ill., Katie Rocchio, Evanston, Ill., Maureen Muto and husband, Stephen, Chicago and, Matthew Rocchio, Rochester, N.Y.; great-grandchildren, Tyler, Trey and Abhi Callahan, Harrison, Trevor, Holden, John, and Calvin King, Andrew and Rachel Dawson, Patrick and Jillian Grace Rocchio, Henry and Louisa Dobson, and Brendan Haley.
Benny was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 69 years, Beulah; brothers, John, Joseph, Dominic, Tony, Frank and Michael Rocchio; and sisters, Rosa and Catherine.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday at Ellers Mortuary Webster Street Chapel, 3400 S. Webster St. There will be a recitation of the Rosary and a Tribute at 7:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Tuesday at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1229 N. Washington St. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be one hour of calling at the church prior to Mass. Father Joshua Bennett will be the celebrant. Burial will be in Kokomo Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. Envelopes will be provided at the mortuary. Full military rites will be provided by the U.S. Army and the Kokomo Military Rites team at the cemetery.