On Monday morning, April 22, 2019, Gerard (Gerry) B. Roccapriore died peacefully with his family surrounding him. Gerry was born February 12, 1928 in Meriden, Connecticut, son of the late Vitaliano and Josephine (Amato) Roccapriore. He was predeceased by his late wife, Irene Dziekan and his brothers, Frank, Vic, and Joe. He is survived by his six children: Sharon Tompkins, Shirl Roccapriore and wife, Dot, Barbara Horbacewicz, Jerry Roccapriore, Jr., Ann Flower, and Steven Roccapriore and wife, Deborah, along with his seven grandchildren and one great grandson. He is also survived by his brothers, Dr. Richard and Vito Roccapriore, both from Connecticut, and his loving sister – Sr. Marie Roccapriore of Southington.
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Gerry was a graduate of Saint Mary’s School and Meriden High School, class of 1946. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army. He was a veteran of World War II, having served with the 24th Infantry Division. Upon completion of serving his country, he attended UConn School of Business and Laurel College. He spent his career in the insurance and real estate business and retired from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company where he worked for thirty-one years.
Gerry spent many years serving his community. He was a member of the VFW Post 9965, Antique Veterans Association, the Knights of Columbus, Council No. 2, the YMCA, St. Mary’s Catholic Men’s Club, Alumni of St. Thomas Seminary, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Meriden. He also served on the Retirement Board for the City of Meriden, served on the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army, the Community Provider Consortium, and a forerunner to Rushford and the New Opportunity Group.
In his free time, Gerry enjoyed being the lead singer in the “Jolly Rocks” Barber Shop Quartet, comprised of himself and his three brothers, Joe, Vic, and Vito. In addition to his love of music, he spent hours on his woodcarvings, which are well known throughout New England. He also loved the outdoors, enjoying long distance hiking and proudly completing the entire Appalachian Trail in 1990. He belonged to the Appalachian and Long Distance Hikers’ Association and hiked the John Muir Trail in California, the Long Trail, which extends from Massachusetts to Canada, and the 3-M Trail, which extends from North Branford, CT to New Hampshire. He also hiked in Europe such as Mt. Etna in Sicily, the Island of Sardinia, Corsica, and many others around the world. If that wasn’t enough, Gerry was also a Connecticut State Champion racquetball player for sixty-five years.
Family and friends may pay their respects at the John J. Ferry and Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main Street in Meriden, CT on Friday April 26th from 4 to 8 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday April 27th at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Campus, 109 Goodwill Avenue, Meriden. Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church. Burial with military honors will be in Saint Sebastian Cemetery in Rockfall, CT.