Pat Rochford, WWII Veteran, Haworth NJ
Patrick J Rochford, born 10/12/1920, Hamilton, Scotland passed away 4/12/2020 at Sunrise Assisted Living, Old Tappan, NJ. “Pat” immigrated to the USA with his family at the age of 8. He graduated from Memorial HS WNY, NJ where he excelled in his studies and sports (Soccer). He went on to Stevens Institute of Technology on his merits as an athlete and scholar and was an all star collegiate Soccer and Lacrosse player, he’s a member of Steven’s Hall of Fame. After his WWII service he returned to Stevens to complete his Masters Degree.
He began his career at Standard Oil of NJ, but then declined his occupational deferment to enlist in the US Army in 1942. He landed in Normandy on June 7, 1944 and fought valiantly in France through June and July and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in battle. He was captured with members of his unit and was held as a POW in Stalag IVB. Prior to the camp’s liberation by Soviet forces Pat escaped and found his way back to Allied lines.
He returned to NJ and married his sweetheart, Elizabeth Paton in 1946. They raised their family of six children and remained together for 69 years until her passing in 2015.
After completing his Masters Degree they settled in Dumont NJ . His excellent writing, creative and engineering skills led him into the Industrial Advertising business, eventually he opened his own company, Rochford Inc. which he successfully operated for decades.
He continued his athletic career throughout the 40’s and early 50’s playing Soccer for the NY Americans of the American Soccer League. As his family grew they moved from Dumont to Haworth NJ, where he lived until recently.
After retiring he served as a crossing guard for the town of Dumont until the age of 94. He not only enjoyed helping his community but also meeting his co-workers and friends at Dunkin Donuts.
He was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth “Betty” Rochford and his daughters Betty Downs (Tom) and Nancy Adams (Scott). He is survived by his children, Alice Dowdell (John), Patrick Rochford (Kim), Ellen Sopko (Ed), Janet Oberc (Ted) additionally his 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren ( surnamed, Downs, Browne, Dowdell, Rochford, Sopko, Broking, Bodrato, Magnotta and Oberc )
A memorial service will be held when appropriate, friends and family will be notified. The family thanks all the family members, caregivers and friends that helped Pat live his life to the fullest.