Rocco Joseph Zappia, Sr., 85, of Mishawaka, was called home to God in the early hours of November 7, 2018 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. Rocco was born June 20, 1933 in Mishawaka, the son of the late Frank and Rose (Fotia) Zappia, Sr. He was a 1953 graduate of Mishawaka High School. Rocco went on to serve our nation during the Korean War in the US Army. On September 12, 1959, he married the love of his life, Sara J. Romeo of Massena, NY.
As an entrepreneur, Rocco owned several businesses in Mishawaka, including Zappia’s Grocery Store, BK Root Beer Stand, and Logan Liquors. Additionally, Rocco was employed by the City of Mishawaka as a code enforcement officer for many years and was later honored with a key to the city. Rocco was a lifelong member of St. Monica Catholic Church where he served in many ways, beginning as an altar boy and retiring as an usher. He was also honored with the Jean Ellen Brown Award. Rocco was also very proud of his Italian heritage as a member of the DiLoreto Society and the Italian-American Heritage Society where he was honored with the Columbus Award. In addition to his passion for his Italian heritage, he was also a lifelong Cubs fan. After a lifetime of waiting, Rocco was fortunate enough to see the Cubs win the 2016 World Series.
Rocco will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. Rocco is survived by wife Sara and their four children: Frank R. (Mishawaka), Rosanne M. (Mark) Imus (Osceola), Sara M. (Anthem, AZ), and Rocco, Jr. (South Bend). He is also survived by four grandsons: Mark Jr. (Courtney), Michael, Matthew, and Jacob. He is also survived by his siblings: Joseph D. Zappia, Pam (Sherm) Deal, Frank (Thelma) Zappia, Jr., brothers-in-law Ross Portolese and Joseph Catanzarite, and sister-in-law Kay Zappia. Surviving him are also numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Margaret Saldana and Mary Catanzarite; three brothers, Patrick Zappia, Sr, Dominic Zappia; Anthony Zappia; and an infant brother, Antonio Zappia.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2:30 pm on Saturday, November 10, in St. Monica Catholic Church, 222 W. Mishawaka Ave., with Rev. Jacob Meyer officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery, Military honors will be provided by VFW 360 / American Legion 161 Burial Squad.
Visitation will be on Friday, November 9th, from 3-7 pm at Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, 503 W. 3rd Street, Mishawaka, with a Rosary being prayed at 7 pm. There will also be visitation one hour prior to the Mass in church.
Rocco’s family would like to thank Signature Health Care and Golden Living Center for the care and compassion given to Rocco during his illness.
Memorials are suggested to St. Monica Catholic Church.
St. Monica Catholic Church
222 W. Mishawaka Avenue, Mishawaka IN 46545