Rocco F. Sirani of Rye, N.Y. died on January 23, 2021 at the Enclave Rehabilitation Center at Greenwich Hospital of complications from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He was 88.
One of ten children, he was born October 18, 1932 in New York City, the youngest son of Francesca (Uccelini) and Antonio Sirani. He grew up on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy in lower Manhattan.
As a young man, he worked at Greif Fabrics in New York City, and found himself installing window treatments at the homes of many celebrated women, notably Jackie Kennedy and the Gabor sisters. “Dad was a snappy dresser in those days,” reported his daughter, Valerie Sirani.
During the Korean War, he served in the Army and was stationed in Europe. Mr. Sirani told his family stories of going AWOL, hoping that by getting in trouble his commander would send him to the front. His commander wasn’t having any of it.
He met his future bride, Barbara Traver in Chatham, New York. They were married on October 31, 1959.
In 1965, the Siranis and Rocco’s brother Ralph, moved to Rye. Rocco and Ralph went to work, alongside their sister Terry, at ITT/Continental Baking for 27 years.
One of the many reasons so many family members spent time at the Siranis’ Garden Drive home was to watch Rangers and Yankee games with Rocco on his then uncommon color television. He passed his love of both games on to his nieces and nephews and brought as many of them as he could to Yankee Stadium.
For the children who lived next door, Lessie, Gianna, and Bella Mazzilli, he always had a Snickers bar at the ready.
On weekends, Mr. Sirani enjoyed hunting and fishing trips, sometimes all the way to Chatham, N.Y., with his brother, brother-in-law Bob Smith, and cousin Robert.
For many years, he was a volunteer fireman in the City of Rye and served as Captain of the Poningoe Hook & Ladder company, driving the Tiller. He was proud to have helped arrange the donation of the old ladder truck to the Fireman’s Home in Hudson, N.Y. He retired from active participation due to illness.
Mr. Sirani was an enthusiastic member of the Brassmen Drum & Bugle Corps of Harrison, N.Y. He, along with his good friends Joe and Danny Marcone, traveled to band competitions and marched in many parades.
“As my cousin Robert recently said, my father was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and loving men you could ever meet,” said Ms. Sirani. “He was a backstop dad when other dads couldn’t be there. He would do anything for family.”
In addition to his wife of 61 years, Barbara Sirani, and his daughter Valerie Sirani and her partner Patti Gruber, he is survived by many nieces and nephews and their families.
Donations in Mr. Sirani’s memory may be made to Rye Town Park for a memorial park bench and garden. Checks may be mailed to the attention of
Camille Meola, Community Liaison, Town of Rye, Suite 302, 222 Grace Church Street, Port Chester, New York 10573.