Dr. John A. Rocco, 83, of Cherry Hill, NJ died April 8, 2020 at Samaritan Hospice in Voorhees, NJ. Dr. Rocco was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 6th Legislative District who served from January 8, 1980 to January 13, 1998.
Dr. Rocco earned his undergraduate degree from West Chester College with a major in education. One of the school’s all-time top soccer defenders. He led West Chester to the 1956 Eastern International Championship with a 9-1-2 record. He was a three-time letter winner and served as the team captain his senior year.
He earned a master's degree in education from Villanova University and was awarded a Doctor of Education degree from Rutgers University. From 1964 to 1968, he was the principal of Cherry Hill's Woodcrest School. From 1968 to 1979, he was an associate professor at Camden County College, and then that school's director of continuing education. Dr. Rocco later became a professor of Education at Rider University at Rowan College.
John Rocco served as Mayor of Cherry Hill from 1975 to 1977 and was a member of its Township Council from 1977 to 1979. In 1979, he was elected to the NJ General Assembly and was re-elected 11 times. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1980 and 1988. He was chosen to serve as a member of the National Commission for Employment Policy from 1983 to 1989. In the Assembly, Rocco was the Assistant Minority Whip in 1984 and 1985, Speaker Pro Tempore from 1986 to 1989 and was the Deputy Speaker of the House starting in 1992. He served as Chair of the Education Committee and as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Schools.
He is also a past recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He has also been named Legislator of the Year by the National Legislator’s Association.
He is survived by his wife Millie Rocco of Cherry Hill, NJ, daughters Connie (Gary) Shifton and Alexandra (Mark) Berenato and grandchildren Allie and Marcus.
Due to health and public safety reasons mausoleum services will be private.
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