Posted by Newspaper Transcriber on Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 13:37:39 :
Forty-six-year Half Moon Bay resident Daniel Rocha, described by his children as adventurous and fearless with a small stature and a big heart, died July 22 at Seton Medical Center Daly City, at age 90.
Born the third of five children on the Azores island of Terceira, Mr. Rocha went to work at age 10 to help his family. He created wall fences, built houses, farmed and worked for a construction company on the American air base in Lages, Terceira.
"This man was never afraid to tackle any job," said his daughter, Emily Bello of Half Moon Bay.
Mr. Rocha married his wife Laura on July 12, 1941, and they raised a family in a home he was proud to own, said his daughter. After seeing a midwife deliver his first five children at home, he "challenged himself to deliver the last four on his own," she said.
In March 1960, the family came to America. "He worked hard for his family to give them the American dream," his daughter said.
They lived for a year in Pleasanton before settling in Half Moon Bay, where Mr. Rocha worked for the Beffa, Marsh and McCarthy Dairy, at various local nurseries and at St. Catherine's Hospital on Half Moon Bay (now Seton Medical Center Coastside). In 1977 he retired to work as a gardener for 22 years, known as "the little man with the red truck and trailer," said his daughter.
"He was a hard-working man who never turned down a job," she said. "It was hard for him to fully retire at the age of 84. Daniel was truly a man who lived to work."
Mr. Rocha loved to travel, visiting the Caribbean and Europe and bringing his family back to the Azores to visit relatives. Upon returning from each trip, his daughter said, he would say, "There's no place like America!"
He also loved good wine, family holiday gatherings, swimming in the ocean and fishing. In the mid-1970s, he caught a 7-foot shark.
Mr. Rocha was a member of the Half Moon Bay I.D.E.S., UPPEC and St.Anthony's.
Mr. Rocha is preceded in death by four daughters, Amelia Rocha, Nilda Rocha, Laura Riddell and Tina Galvin, grandson Kevin Bello and siblings Mary Vieira, Jose Rodriguez and Hilario Rocha.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Laura Rocha, children and spouses Regina and Ron Cardoza, Emily and Jerry Bello and Connie and Fred Whelen and Manuel Rocha, all of Half Moon Bay, and Joe and Joy Rocha of Tualatin, Ore., 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Unbelina Oliveira, of Half Moon Bay.
On Wednesday, July 26, visitation will be held at 5:30 p.m. and a Rosary service at 7:30 p.m., at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Half Moon Bay. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 27, at Our Lady of the Pillar, followed by interment at Our Lady of the Pillar cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Rocha's honor to Our Lady of the Pillar Church.
Half Moon Bay Review and Pescadero Pebble, Wednesday, July 26, 2006
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