Theresa Rocanelli, Brooklyn, New York -
Theresa (“Terry”) Rocanelli passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, May 5, 2019, the day after her 86th
birthday. Terry’s passing was exactly as she wished; she died as she lived, on her own terms and in the presence
of loving family. We are thankful for the wonderful caregivers who made it possible for Terry to stay in her
home and especially for Dotty - no one could ask for a better friend or a more loving sister.
Terry was a life-long resident of Brooklyn, and she embodied Brooklyn's spirit in her zest and fierce
determination. No one worked harder than Terry, rising before the sun and doing a full day’s work before most
people even had their first cup of coffee. Terry was gracious and never needed to prove she was the smartest
and most capable person in the room. However, if you knew her well, you knew her vast intelligence and quiet
Terry relished her long love affair with Lou, to whom she was devoted since she was 15 years old, and whom
she missed every day since he died in December 2013 after almost 60 years of marriage. Terry and Lou were
inseparable; they were a team. It was Terry who managed the household money and who made sure Lou always
had a stack of bills in his pocket so he could tip generously on his way in to every excellent restaurant in
Brooklyn and Manhattan, with Terry smiling and laughing at his side. Eating out was fine by her, but it was in
her own kitchen that Terry really shined. Terry taught everyone how to cook, and showed us all that you can
always feed more people just by adding an extra pound of pasta to the pot. If you were within the inner circle,
your freezer was stocked with Terry’s renowned “pucks” of her delicious meat gravy. We will all miss Terry’s
After a career in real estate sales, matching hundreds of families to Bay Ridge homes with Maguire Real Estate,
Terry and Lou embarked on the adventure of a lifetime at the iconic Embers Restaurant. Brooklynites (and
even some from Manhattan!) lined up to savor the fabulous T-Bone steak with Terry’s own creamy potato pie
for 26 years. Although it may have appeared to customers that Lou was in charge, the entire staff and every
purveyor knew that it was Terry who called the shots, balanced the books, paid the bills, and kept the lights
Terry was a devoted mother and the very best role model of a strong and independent woman. Terry was a
woman ahead of her time, and she insisted that her daughters, Linda and Andrea, always be able to support
themselves. Terry delighted in her three granddaughters, Olivia, Elena and Simone, who embody Terry’s
tremendous passion for life and her ability to be both strong-minded and soft-hearted. She loved her sons-inlaw, Frank and Todd, as her own sons.
Terry’s heart broke when her son Freddy died far too young and tragically. Terry was saddened by the death
of her sister Carole with whom she had spoken every day. Recently, Terry was devastated by the death of her
nephew Anthony DiCarlo, who loved his Aunt Terry and stopped by the house to help or just to say hello and
make her laugh. We take comfort in knowing that Terry’s arrival on the other side was celebrated by those she
loved so well.
Terry is survived by her daughter Linda Rocanelli and her husband Frank Falcone, Jr. of Mountain Top, PA;
her daughter Andrea Rocanelli and her husband Todd Veale of Wilmington, DE; her three granddaughters,
Olivia, Elena and Simone Veale; her very best friend and devoted sister Dorothy Simone; as well as many
nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at McLaughlin & Sons, 9620 Third Avenue, Brooklyn on Friday, May 10 from 5pm-9pm. A
mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd Street at 9:45am on Saturday, May
11, with burial at Green-Wood Cemetery after the mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor
of Terry’s life and spirit to Susan G. Komen or Delaware Combined Campaign for Justice.