Rocky J. Esposito, age 83, of New Smyrna Beach, died Monday, February 12 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Rocky was born in Utica, New York. He grew up in the Bronx with his mother Josephine, spending his summers in upstate New York with his favorite aunt and uncle.
A Navy veteran of the Korean Era, Rocky met his wife Grace of 53 years while on shore leave at Boston. Rocky and Grace would eventually relocate to Frankfort, New York where they would raise their family. He was the proprietor of two neighborhood pubs in Utica, however, was better known as the owner of the T.P. Drive-In restaurant in Herkimer, New York.
Rocky permanently retired to New Smyrna Beach in 1997 with Grace, who passed away in 2007. He was a lifelong New York Yankees fan, an avid fisherman and enjoyed anything racing with four legs.
Rocky met the second love of his life, Cathy Alderman of New Smyrna Beach. Both former New Yorkers, they enjoyed spending time on the casino ship Victory, bowling, bingo and going to the movies.
In addition to Cathy, he leaves behind his children Roxanne and Dennis Tilden of New Smyrna Beach; Richard and Janie Esposito of Sacramento, California; Dr. Rocky and Michelle Esposito of Deland; his seven grandchildren, Jesse Tilden, Veronica Brooks, Eric Tilden, Madelyn Esposito-Smith, Chelsea Esposito, Gregory Jordon, and Caroline Jordon. Also, seven great-grandchildren and of course his favorite dog Tara.
He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, New Smyrna Beach, where Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 17 with Reverend Rodney Roehner officiating. Entombment will follow in All Faiths Mausoleum of Sea Pines Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Settle-Wilder Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations in Rocky’s name to Halifax Health Hospice, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32719.