Mar 112011

Ralph Joseph DiRocco, 88, passed away on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at his home in Snowflake. A memorial Mass will be held in his honor at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 14, at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Church in Snowflake.

He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Feb. 24, 1923, to Nicholas and Lucy DiRocco. He was proud of his Italian heritage.

Ralph married Carol Ann Mahaffey in Phoenix, and they were married for the past 43 years. They moved from Phoenix to Snowflake, and had lived there for 20-plus years when he died.

He served as a tech sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, from 1942-1945.

Ralph was a wonderful musician, and played the clarinet, tenor saxophone and keyboard, and all types of jazz and big band music. He also was a painter and sculptor.

Survivors include his wife, Carol DiRocco of Snowflake; two sons, Randy (Christine) DiRocco of Phoenix and Patrick Landers of Show Low; two daughters, Gail DiRocco of Flagstaff and Lezli Tatroe of Phoenix; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and his sister, Lilian DeFranco of Sun City.

He was preceded in death by one sister and one brother.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice Compassus, 1789 W. Commerce Drive, Lakeside, Ariz. 85929.

Silver Creek Mortuary of Taylor is in charge of the arrangements.