Vincent L. Rocereto, Jr., 96, passed away at Midland Hospice on February 11, 2018. He was born November 15, 1921 in Beaver Falls, Pa. to Amelia (Jerome) and Vincent L. Rocereto, Sr., who had emigrated from Italy with his older brother at age 14.
Vince graduated from Beaver Falls High School and started attending his hometown school, Geneva College, on a basketball scholarship. During college, he met Margaret Huebner of Topeka, married her on April 18, 1944 and left for the war 3 days later. After the war, he returned to Geneva College and graduated with a degree in biology.
Vince was an ensign in the U.S. Navy during WWII and served in the Pacific Theater on LST 612. He participated in the landings at the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After graduation from college, Vince became a teacher and basketball coach in Beaver Falls and then moved to Topeka in 1947 where he coached and taught at Curtis Jr. High.
In 1951, Vince entered the life insurance business as a part time agent with American Home Life. He had unsuccessfully attempted to get a loan from a local bank to buy a piano so he turned to life insurance sales to earn extra income. Working part time, he was the company’s leading agent for the next two years. He ended his teaching career, paid cash for a nice piano and went to work full time for American Home as its chief marketing officer. He held that position until 1977 when he became the company’s President and CEO until his retirement in 1986.
After his retirement from American Home Life, he worked for the Kansas Life and Health Guaranty Association, was the oldest substitute teacher in U.S.D. 501 and was briefly president of another life insurance company. He served on the Board of Directors of The American Home Life Insurance Company, Merchant’s National Bank, The Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) and Shawnee Country Club, where he was a past president. He was a long time member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Vince was predeceased by his wife, Margaret on February 4, 2007 and sisters, Dorothy Gidcumb and Jeanne Macioce. Vince is survived by his son Cdr. Paul V. Rocereto, M.D., US Navy-Ret. and wife Dianne; his daughters Anne and husband Steve Lobell, and Mary Rocereto; grandchildren Becky Rocereto, Jacob Rocereto and his wife Christal, Sam Lobell and his wife Becca, Tom Lobell, and Michael V. Lee; great-grandchildren Avery and Bennett Lobell; his brother Richard Rocereto and partner Randy Wheeler; and Vince’s dear friend and traveling companion, Joan Knoll.
Memorial Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Rd. A visitation will be held at the funeral home from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018.
Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606, the Topeka Reformed Presbyterian Church, 8345 SW 33rd Street, Topeka, KS 66614 or a charity of the donor’s choice.
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