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ROCCO Raphaelo (Ralph J.)
Birth: 23 Dec 1913 Philadelphia, Pa.
Death: 10 Nov 2006 Springfield, Va.
Cause of Death: heart failure
Burial: 15 Nov 2006 Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Pa.
email 8 Sep 2017 from Diane Carrero
1920 in Philadelphia, Pa. as Rolf
1930 in Philadelphia, Pa.
1940 in Philadelphia, Pa. barber
Ralph "Ralph the Barber" Rocco, 92, a South Philadelphia haircutter whose wit was as sharp as his
scissors, died of heart failure Friday at the home of his daughter Lucille Guss in Springfield, Va., where he
had lived for 18 months.
Mr. Rocco was born, raised, lived and worked in a corner home at 22d and Winton Streets. His father,
Dominick, founded Rocco's Barber Shop in 1900 in the living room of the home. And there the business
thrived until Mr. Rocco retired three years ago.
After graduating from South Philadelphia High School in 1933, Mr. Rocco worked in the shop until he was
drafted in 1942. He was an Army military policeman and saw action in Europe during World War II, including
the Battle of the Bulge.
As a courtesy, he cut officers' and fellow soldiers' hair. He was discharged in 1945.
"He told us he did not cut Patton's hair because the general had his own barber," said his daughter Dolores
He met Helen O'Connor at a dance when he was 16. They married in 1940 and had three daughters. The
living room of their home was the barbershop. The family lived in the kitchen, dining room and upstairs
bedrooms. The shop had a barber pole out front and was lavishly decorated during World War II and for
"During the 1950s and early 1960s the barbershop had three chairs and was so busy that people lined up
outside on the steps. It stayed open until 11 p.m.," said his daughter Helen Watson. "My father had a
comment and a joke for everyone who walked by his picture window. He really got to know his neighbors. It
was an interesting childhood."
When the style changed to longer hair in the 1960s, the business began to slow down, but Mr. Rocco
"He wanted to die in that house," Watson said. He put down his scissors only after his health began to fail.
In addition to his wife and daughters, Mr. Rocco is survived by three grandchildren.
Friends may visit at 9 a.m. today at St. Edmond Roman Catholic Church, 21st Street and Snyder Avenue. A
Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.
Contact staff writer Gayle Ronan Sims at 215-854-4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - Wednesday, November 15, 2006
RALPH J., age 92, on Nov. 10, 2006. Life long resident of S. Phila and Barber Shop Owner. Beloved
husband of Helen (nee O'Connor). Loving father of Helen (Robert) Watson, Lucille (Brian) Guss and Dolores
(Timothy) Kulp. Grandfather of Ariana, David and Alexander. Relatives and friends invited to his Viewing and
Funeral Wed. 9 A.M., St. Edmond Church, 21st St & Snyder Ave. Funeral Mass 10 A.M. Int. Holy Cross
Cemetery. RUFFENACH FUNERAL HOME
Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) and Philadelphia Daily News (PA) - Sunday, November 12, 2006
ROCCO Domenico (20 May 1881 - 20 Aug 1954)
MASI Lucia (23 Aug 1884 - 1954)
ROCCO Rosini (Rose Mary) (6 Sep 1906 - 6 Dec 1991)
ROCCO Genueffe (Jennie C.) (12 Sep 1908 - 23 Jun 1998)
ROCCO Antonio (Anthony) (22 Nov 1909 - Nov 1965)
ROCCO Vincenzo (James) (25 Nov 1911 - 10 Dec 1988)
ROCCO Raphaelo (Ralph J.) (23 Dec 1913 - 10 Nov 2006)
ROCCO Olivia (Lena) (10 May 1917 - 5 May 1983)
ROCCO Rita D. (25 Dec 1918 - 30 Apr 2002)
ROCCO unnamed baby (6 Apr 1923 - 6 Apr 1923)
Marriage To O'CONNOR Helen (2 Mar 1921 - 20 Apr 2010)
m. 10 Sep 1941
Children by O'CONNOR Helen 2 Mar 1921 - 20 Apr 2010
ROCCO Helen ()
ROCCO Lucille ()
ROCCO Dolores ()
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