Rocky Rosario, a colorful and widely beloved fixture of Woodstock street life for more than four decades, died on April 7 at Archcare of Ferncliff Nursing Home, in Rhinebeck, where he had resided since last November He was 71.
Maria Robertson, a nurse and longtime friend of Rosario, served as his devoted caregiver in recent years, providing amenities that he lacked, such as transportation and heated shelter in cold weather. In a recent interview Robertson reported that the cause of death was complications from retropharyngeal cancer. After undergoing two rounds of chemotherapy, Rosario declined further treatment, she said.
According to Roberston, Rosario had been long estranged from four siblings. He left no known survivors. Lasher Funeral Home will perform a cremation. Robertson said that donations to Woodstock Fire Company No. 5, known as the rescue squad, or to Family of Woodstock, both of which generously assisted Rosario over the years, are welcome.
In an April 10 interview Sal Miccio, who is Robertson’s father as well as a close friend of Rosario’s since the 1970s, announced that a memorial service would take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, at the Harmony Café, at 52 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. The event will feature music by two bands and other performers and an open microphone for remembrances of Rosario by his friends and acquaintances.
For further information about the memorial service or donations in Rosario’s memory, call Miccio at 679-7514.
Everyone in Woodstock seemed to know Rocky, a rail-thin chatterbox who would happily expound on just about anything at the drop of his ever-present Yankees cap. He moved to town in 1971 and never left. Woodstock supervisor Jeremy Wilber expressed his sadness at Rosario’s passing at the April 9 meeting of the town board. “I never knew anyone who had such courage to be himself,” said Wilber. “We will all miss Rocky.”