PERRYSBURG – Jerry Rochez, age 77, of VanVleck Road, passed away surrounded by family on August 30, 2014 at the Erie County Medical Center Trauma Unit after being transferred by Mercy Flight following an accident at home.
Born in Penn Hills, Pa., the son of Alfred and Julia (Demnisky) Rochez, on August 8, 1937.
Jerry graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., earning his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting.
A commercial airline pilot, Jerry’s flying career began after college when he joined the United States Navy. Jerry was a Lt. Commander with the U.S. Navy and he deployed on two tours in Vietnam. While in the Service, he met his wife, the former Mary B. Stewart. They were married in Strabane, Ireland, on Feb. 6, 1965. Mary survives.
Upon his honorable discharge, Jerry was a commercial pilot for Allegany and Mohawk Airlines. He then went to work for U.S. Airlines. His employment with U.S. Air spanned more than 25 years before his re-tirement. Jerry was a Certified Flight Instructor and he even taught his children to fly and had a landing strip on the family property in Perrysburg.
Jerry’s memberships include St. Josephs R.C. Church and the American Legion Post 409, both in Gowanda. An antique car buff, Jerry belonged to several antique car clubs in the area, including Allis Chalmers, Kaiser Fraiser and Crosley. He also held a CDL license.
Survivors besides his wife of nearly 50 years include three sons, Gerald (Shari) Rochez of East Amherst, David Rochez and Peter (Kari) Rochez, both of Warrington, Va., along with a daughter, Eilis (Matthew) McKenna of East Amherst. Jerry is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Lynnea, Caitlin, Amanda, Jared, Illa, Mary Claire, Shelby, Matthew, Luke and Kaili Rose; three brothers: Fritz (Darlene) Rochez of Montana, John (Bonnie) Rochez and Edward (Donna) Rochez, both of Pittsburgh; along with several nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by a son, Sean Patrick Rochez.
Friends may call at the SCHINDLER FUNERAL HOME, 44 Center St., Gowanda, NY, (716) 532-4200, from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday. Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 10 a.m. from the St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, East Main Street, Gowanda (assemble at church). Interment to follow in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Gowanda. Fr. Joseph Porpiglia Celebrant.
Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO box 758517, Topeka, KA 66675.