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Rocco F. Balzano


Rocco F. Balzano, 76, of Rome, passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at Rochester General Hospital after a brief illness.

   Rock was born May 7, 1947, son of Frank and Sarah Ciabotti Balzano. He graduated from Rome Free Academy with the “Classic” Class of 65, St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee OK, and West Virginia University. When he graduated college, Rock put his baseball expertise to work by coaching the youth of our community. Alongside his lifelong friend Coach Jerry Fiorini, he began coaching a Rome American Little League Team for a few years and then a team in the Pony League. He moved on to coach the Rome Catholic High Red Wings for 10 years, followed by another 10 years coaching the New York Mills Marauders. Rock was also involved with the building of the DeLutis Baseball Complex.

   On October 9, 1971 Rock married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Pace, in St. John the Baptist Church, a blessed 52+ year journey. After several part-time jobs during his college years, Rock began a 37-year career with the State of New York as a groundskeeper and ultimately as a Therapy Aide for the DDSO.

Rock is survived by his wife Mary Ellen, and his son Rocky Joe and Kaitlyn Sharrow. Also surviving are two sisters Theresa LeHigh of Nebraska sand Sandra Lamascolo.

   To know Rock is to know that he had four great loves in life: his family, his friends, baseball, and the sun. “If the sun was out, Rock was out soaking it up.” Certainly not the healthiest hobby, but he was a true worshipper.

   A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 11:00 am at St. John the Baptist Church, 210 E. Dominick St. with the Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio as celebrant. Calling hours will be from 10:00-11:00 am at the Church. Interment will be in St. John’s Cemetery.

   In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Humane Society of Rome or The American Heart Association.

   Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Bottini Funeral Home, 120 W. Embargo St.


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