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Thomas Ralph Ruocco  

Thomas Ralph Ruocco
“Rock”

January 26, 1955-June 15, 2016

Thomas R. “Rock” Ruocco, age 61, of Newark, DE, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

Born in New Haven, CT on January 26, 1955, Thomas was a son of Gennaro and Victoria Ruocco. He attended the University of Delaware and was a graduate of both Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ and McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. Thomas proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force and Delaware Air National Guard for a total of 23 years, retiring in 2004 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was a combat veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom where he served as a C-130 Navigator. A career educator, Thomas taught elementary school at Brandywine Springs, Forest Oak, Warner and Heritage Elementary Schools in the Red Clay Consolidated School District for over 20 years.

In his leisure time, he enjoyed listening to music of all kinds, playing guitar, and spending time on the bocce ball court. Thomas will be remembered as a kind, loving and compassionate person and will be missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gennaro and a brother, Frank. Thomas is survived by his mother, Victoria of Branford, CT; beloved wife of over 32 years, Betty R. (Fuller) Ruocco; children, Lauren Mease (Adam) of Townsend, DE, Michael Ruocco (Maria) of Newark, DE and Jeffrey Ruocco of Newark, DE; mother-in-law, Sarah Ruth Fuller of Fairhope, AL and Malvern, AR; brother, Jerry Ruocco (Nancy) of Windham, NH; sisters, Bettyann Sawicki (Wayne) of Orange, CT and Wenndi Freer (Michael) of Encinitas, CA; and grandsons, Owen and Shane Mease.

A funeral service will be held at 4 pm on Sunday afternoon, June 19, 2016 at the Newark United Methodist Church, 69 E. Main Street, Newark, Delaware, where a visitation for family and friends will be held from 2 pm until 4 pm. A committal service will be held at 10 am on Monday morning, June 20, 2016 in the chapel of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.

The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Gift of Life Family House, 401 Callowhill St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 or to the Fisher House Foundation Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850.

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Guestbook

  1. Sheri Lemerand, June 16, 2016

    Betty and Family,
    Please know that you are all in the thoughts and prayers of the Lemerand family. We are very sorry for your loss. ❤️

    Reply
  2. Jenn Telep, June 16, 2016

    Betty,
    I am so sorry for the great loss your family has endured. I will be praying for each of you during this time of sorrow

    Reply
  3. Jerry and Patricia Szpila, June 16, 2016

    Betty and Family
    We are so deeply sorry about Tom. We have many fond memories of you both.

    Reply
  4. Cathy Vaughan Malone, June 16, 2016

    Dear Betty and Family,
    Bernie and I are so very sorry for your loss. Tom was such a good man. We have you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  5. Mary Jo Sweeney, June 16, 2016

    Dear Betty and Family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I worked with Tom at Forest Oak and enjoyed his humor, his kindness and his guitar playing. His service to our country is to be highly commended, and never forgotten. I will pray for Tom, yourself and all of your family during this difficult time.

    Reply
  6. Richard & Amanda Carr, June 16, 2016

    Betty, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. We love you

    Reply
  7. John V Siratt, June 16, 2016

    I have many fond memories of uncle Tom. Our deepest condolences to you all.

    Reply
  8. Brandywine Springs PTO Board and Members, June 16, 2016

    Our Brandywine Springs community has lost a very special member. We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a kind, caring, supportive and admired teacher.

    Mr. Ruocco’s presence in our hallways will be missed, but he will remain in our hearts forever.

    “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher”
    -Japanese Proverb

    Reply
  9. Joanna Ruocco Notarino, June 16, 2016

    So sorry Betty for your loss prayers are ith you & your Family .

    Reply
  10. Izzy, June 16, 2016

    I’m very sorry for your loss and Mr.Ruocco was a great teacher, and good at playing the guitar.

    Reply
  11. Doris Rohnke, June 17, 2016

    Betty and family. .so sorry for your loss. May God wrap hid arms around you all and comfort you in your grief. Prayers ..love you Betty

    Reply
  12. Laura Keys, June 17, 2016

    My heart goes out to your family for your significant loss. Much love to you wenndi

    Reply
  13. Shannon & Kirk Smith, June 17, 2016

    Our deepest sympathies to your family. He will be missed by so many; family, brothers, sisters, fellow teachers, parents, students-both current & former. Tom stood up for what he believed in. May you find comfort that he is truly in your souls and forever with you. Keep your eyes open for him! He’s everywhere. God bless all of you in this painful time.

    Reply
  14. Valerie Harwood, June 17, 2016

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  15. Anita (Bunch ) Godwin, June 17, 2016

    Betty , my prayers go out to you and your family with the loss of your husband Thomas , the father , the grandfather , son , and brother . May God lift you up during this time of sorrow !!! God Bless you all !!!

    Reply
  16. Lynda DiJulio, June 17, 2016

    I am so sorry for your loss. Tom was such a nice guy.

    Reply
  17. Kim Houston Hyman, June 17, 2016

    Betty,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I so wish I could be there for you and your wonderful family. I am sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  18. Ann-Marie Peoples, June 17, 2016

    Betty,
    You and your family are in our hearts and prayers! I really enjoyed working with Tom, he’s one of the most easiest people to talk to… so calm and kind. The students and teachers at BSS loved him and he will missed by many!
    So sorry

    Reply
  19. Amanda, June 17, 2016

    Mr. Ruocco will great missed. His appreciation for music was loved by his students! My condolences to the family. RIP Mr. Ruocco.

    The Gregg’s

    Reply
  20. Patti Savage, June 17, 2016

    Dear Betty,
    You and your children and grandchildren are in my heart. I am so sorry. Words cannot express how much Tom will be missed. He was a kind, funny and genuine person.

    Reply
  21. Telsche, June 17, 2016

    Betty – The love you and Tom shared was special. Your eyes always lit up when you spoke of him! May that love bring you peace during this difficult time. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Telsche

    Reply
  22. Linda Wolf, June 17, 2016

    Dearest Betty – I will continue to keep you in my prayers, that you find comfort in your memories of your life with Tom and your children, and the love that you shared will bring you smiles and peace in the days ahead. Love, Linda

    Reply
  23. Abby Saxton and Laura Viglotti, June 17, 2016

    We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  24. Diane Dambach, June 18, 2016

    Betty,
    I am shocked and saddened to read that Tom passed away! I will always have fond memories of his years teaching at Forest Oak. A true patriot and gentleman! My deepest sympathies to you and your family!

    Reply
  25. Anne Biddle, June 18, 2016

    You and yours are in our thoughts and prayers for peace, healing, and much love during this difficult time of such a loss. Your beloved Mermaids and I will be standing by to bounce around the water when you are ready, and anything you might need to heal through this time I am here. I’ll never forget how you were there for me at that certain moment in my life… Sending special love and deep sympathy from AK Anne, rick Biddle and Lauren

    Reply
  26. Debbie Wilson, June 18, 2016

    I am so sorry for your loss. I really enjoyed working with Tom at Forest Oak. He was a kind and caring teacher. I know that he will be missed.
    Debbie Wilson

    Reply
  27. Terry and Nick, June 19, 2016

    Dear Betty, Aunt Vicky, and Ruocco family. We are saddened by the loss of you husband, son, and our beloved cousin, Thomas. Tommy always be remembered by his kindness, sincerity, and loving encompassing smile. Thomas’ life will provide light in all that knew him. We miss him now but will remember him always.

    Reply
  28. Dennis Barone, June 19, 2016

    Vicky,Jerry,Bettyann, Wendi,

    I am so sorry to hear of Tommys’ passing. My condolences to the

    entire Ruocco Family.

    Dennis

    Reply
  29. Margaret Ann and John, June 20, 2016

    Dear Betty and family,
    I am so sad and heartbroken for you and your family. I found out a few minutes ago from a person I work with who knew I lived close to you and thought I might know you . Please know that if you need anything I am a phone call away. I will reach out to you in a few days. So sorry to have missed the service.
    Margaret Ann and John Neyman and family

    Reply
  30. Ron, June 23, 2016

    Dear Tom:

    We said so long to you this past weekend.
    I had the privelige of meeting your beautiful family, including your beautiful mother and brother.

    It is clearly evident to me that you left a profound mark on everyone that you came in contact with – as a man, a son, a soldier, a husband, a father, a friend, but most of all, a teacher.

    You will not be forgotten – as long as all of our lives go on, you will be remembered every day.

    You are everywhere, whether it’s a song on the radio, a guitar sitting on the porch of an old house in Newark, a lesson learned, or someone’s smile – there is always something present – there seem to be constant reminders around us that assure us that’s you haven’t left us.

    You are everywhere – and will never be forgotten.

    Peace and prayers to Betty and your family.

    ~ Ron

    Reply
  31. Lyle Powell, June 24, 2016

    Betty,
    So sorry for your loss but thankful that you are a cherished part of my memories. My best memories of Tom were exploring Bangkok together, visiting the markets and temples early in the morning while the rest of the crew slept in. I loved his curiosity and excitement about learning new things.
    I regret that the time has gone so fast but enjoyed seeing his impact on others through the comments above.
    My love and prayers are with you at this time.
    Lyle

    Reply
    • Betty, August 20, 2016

      Lyle,
      We have often thought about you over the years. Your memory of Tom made me smile. Thank you.

      Reply
  32. Clifford Ruocco, August 3, 2016

    Tom was always my favorite cousin on both sides of my family and also one of my very best friends. He was a kind and gentle soul and simply a great human being. My fondest memory of him was a Ruocco family outing years ago when his son Jeff was just a tiny infant. He must have played with his little boy in the pool for almost 2 hours, even though he had to hold him above the pool water’s surface the whole time. I thought to myself, what a wonderful daddy he was and how much he must have loved his son. Tom just wasn’t only a good man, in my opinion he was awesome, spectacular, terrific – use any superlative adjective you want and it will certainly fit his character. In short, if you knew him well, you were blessed. I never saw Tom ever do anything cruel or unkind to any other person or any living thing. In fact, I can’t recall Tom losing his temper, swearing, or even raising his voice. He will certainly be missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace my favorite cousin and most very dear friend.

    Reply

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