1935 – 2014

RUMFORD — Rocco “Rocky” John Salatino, 78, died peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends, at his home in Smithcrossing, Rumford, on Friday evening, May 23. Diagnosed with esophageal cancer last August, Rocky gave it his all, never complaining and with an amazing caregiver by his side, his wife, Julie; they were married for 53 fun-filled years.

Rocky was born Oct. 31, 1935, to Vito and Theresa (Papasadora) Salatino, and was the middle child in an Italian family of 11. After his father, Vito’s, passing, Rocco’s younger years revolved around making sure his mother, Theresa “Nani,” was provided for — shining shoes, working for Nick Puiia and doing whatever he could to ensure his family was taken care of. Throughout his life, that was an incredible quality he possessed, as he was always there for family or friends — they always came first.

After graduating from Stephens High School in 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, traveling the world until his discharge in 1964. When he returned from the service, he settled down in Rumford and married Juliette White. Rocco worked until retirement at Boise Cascade (Mead) as a millwright in maintenance.

He was a regular communicant of Parish of the Holy Savior; a member of the Napoleon Ouellette Post No. 24, American Legion; Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 1248 and Gorizia Lodge No. 467, Sons of Italy.

Rocky recalled many fond memories with neighbors, family and friends at the Sons of Italy on New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Columbus Day and playing bocce ball on Canton Lake Field Days. Rocco and his family hosted numerous gatherings at their pool, where any event became a celebration.

Rocky enjoyed skiing at Sunday River with the Barker Mountain Gang, golfing from Maine to Myrtle Beach, traveling to Las Vegas with his wife, Julie, playing poker with the guys and spending time at his camp in Roxbury Pond, where he was often spotted paddling out on the water or biking around the lake.

His daughter, Roxanne, was the apple of his eye, but life changed for Rocky when his one and only grandchild, Alex, was born. He now would be called “Bumpa.” Bumpa could be seen daily picking up Alex at Holy Savior School. As Alex got older, he would bring him to all his practices and attended every single game. Until his diagnosis, he never missed a basketball, baseball, floor hockey or football game and was dubbed the No. 1 fan with friend, Neil Sorenson, throughout the AYF football seasons. Rocky would always say to Roxanne and Pat, “Thanks for making my life complete with Alex.” Roxanne and Pat cannot imagine how different Alex’s life would have been had “Bumpa” not been there for him.

Rocky is survived by his wife, Julie, of Rumford; daughter, Roxanne Gorham and husband, Patrick, and grandson, Alex, of Peru; brothers, Joseph Salatino of Auburn, Jimmy Salatino and wife, Betty, of Dixfield and Vito Salatino and wife, Mary, of Michigan; sisters, Julia Salatino of Rumford and Joanne Salatino of Canton; sister-in-law, Betty Salatino; and brothers-in-law, Dick Day and Richard Austin.

He was predeceased by his parents; brother, Frank “Chico;” and sisters, Mary, Pauline, Annette and Lucy.

The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Thomas Deluca, as well as Patty, Bonnie, Katie, Laura and Eileen of Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice for their exceptional care and support of Rocky.

Friends and relatives are invited to sign the family guest book and share their thoughts, condolences and memories online at www.meaderandson.com.

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