My Love Letter to Rocci Cetani, Jr.
Dear Big Brother,
How does one ever say goodbye to YOU, of all people? Honestly, how do we do this? Your death was so sudden, so unexpected, so heartbreaking. Every day my eyes swell with tears when I talk to our brothers, our mother, our father, your wife. Goodbye? REALLY? Wait. Aren’t you planning a future vacation to Kauai or Italy, a 49’ers game party, a family get-together, a crab feed with family and your awesome friends or Maken’ Wine with your baby brother?
We are all wishing for one more day to hear your goofy laugh, see your sparkly blue eyes, admire your handsome gray/white hair, ha ha, see your infectious smile, feel your warm hugs. And I personally just want to kiss your cheek and hug you long and hard and say thank you for being a part of my life, always supporting me in every way possible, always being there for me to fall on if needed, and introducing me to all your wonderful friends.
How happy you have created your life in these past years with your wife, Mary Jo. All your travels and fun adventures together are a story all on their own. What fun you have enjoyed with your huge group of bro-friends & girlfriends in Morgan Hill. It makes my heart so happy that you were so happy.
Living next door to you & Mary Jo, sandwiched on both sides of Mom and Dad, has been the greatest gift of all. Our last minute cocktail parties & dinners with just the 6 of us fills my heart with cherished memories!
How precious life is when you’re truly living it. The memories only a brother and sister can share over the past 55 years, like skating in the garage on a rainy day, summer nights playing hide and seek with all our neighbors, endless fun spent in the pool with you, Paco and Matt. Like being the best man in my wedding, like seeing our grandparents pass on. 54 Christmases together, 55 years of unconditional love and respect, all the while with the deep-hearted belief that blood is thicker than water.
Hey Roc, did you see all the people that came to your memorial? Wow wee! 500 family, bro-friends, girlfriends, even your high school friends. Business associates & neighbors came to honor and celebrate YOU. Did you read all the 100’s of loving messages on your Facebook page? Do you feel the love pour out of all our hearts, to and for you. Yes, Rocci, your infectious open heart has touched 100’s. You are loved and affectionately adored by many!
You pierced our hearts with unconditional love and we all thank you for showing us how to embrace life to the fullest.
How does one say good bye to Rocci? THEY DON”T! You have become a part of our hearts, so for now my brother, we say “Arrivederci, till we meet again”, while we all hold onto the precious memories and the messages of love you have inspired in all of us. To never take life for granted, to cherish each moment, to forgive, to enjoy the moments we create with family and friends in the now, to embrace family whole-heartedly and to know that we all have the capacity to touch each other’s lives, even when we leave this world.
Arrivederci my sweet brother,
From all of us that love and adore you!
Rocci Cetani, Jr. was born on April 21, 1959 in Tucson, Arizona at Davis Mothan Air Force Base and passed away suddenly of septic shock in Carson City, Nevada. Surrounded by LOVE through his family the entire two weeks of his sudden illness, the nurses nick-named him “The Rock”, for his gallant fight for life.
The Cetani family moved to Morgan Hill in 1974, where they raised four children. Rocci, Jr. was the oldest.
Rocci Jr. is remembered with love by his wife, Mary Jo Cetani, his ex-wife Mary Ollerton, his Mom and Dad, Patricia and Rocci Cetani, Sr., his sister Debbie (Cetani) Arambula & hubby Steve, his brother Paul Cetani & his wife Stephanie, and his brother Matt Cetani & his wife Cayrn, his four sons Rocci III, Tony, Vinny and Logan, and also his step-sons Scott & Kyle and step-daughter, Tara.
Rocci, Jr. worked at NorCal Fire Protection, Inc. since 1996 as the Lead Fire Sprinkler Testing & Maintenance Estimator. Working side by side with his two brothers, Matt Cetani, President and Paul Cetani, Vice President, he helped them start the company in 1995. His sons Rocci III and Tony also work at the company.
Rocci Jr’s expertise in understanding estimating and troubleshooting automatic fire sprinkler systems and other types of fire protection systems was outstanding. He will truly be missed by his fellow workers and throughout the industry. NorCal Fire Protection, Inc is a family owned business, and takes the lead as one of the Bay Area’s largest fire sprinkler companies, with over 22 year’s experience.
Back Story of the Cetani Family:
As a young girl growing up in a large Italian/Irish family with my three brothers, Rocci Jr., Paul and Matt, family has been, and will always be, number one for us!
Our great grandfather, Salvatori Cancilla always said, in Italian of course, “Il sangue non è acqua” (Blood is thicker than water).
Our dad, Rocci Sr. would recite this as a poetic point of Family Love. Unlike a lot of my friends, we were and are a kissy, huggy family, and if you didn’t kiss your 13 Aunts and Uncles when you walked in the room, even if you couldn’t remember their names, it was a sign of disrespect. In the Italian culture, this was unacceptable! Rocci Jr. was very proud to be Italian, to say the least. He named is first three children Rocci III, Antonio and Vincenzo.
We have a HUGE family, my three brothers, their wives and all our nieces and nephews . . . I mean, it is HUGE! Bless my mother’s heart. For years she has held the torch in her untiring attempt to get all these people together, to take family vacations together and have occasional get-togethers.
What is really cool is that I live next door to my Mom & Dad, and my oldest brother Rocci Jr. & his wife Mary Jo. We call it “Cetani Row”.
What a dream it has been! And every day I counted my blessings, that I get to have coffee with my Mama & Dad almost every day, I get to hear my daddy play the piano and we would have get-togethers, just the 6 of us for hours, having dinner and wine! WE ARE/Were SO lucky!
For me, “Family” means standing by each other, in thick and thin, no matter what, and doing whatever it takes to keep the family unity alive and together! I believe it is the strongest bond on earth and worth fighting for!
Breathe love energy into it, take time to play together, enjoy precious moments, show appreciation and affection, plan a simple game night, do whatever it takes. It is a rough world out there, and having a family is a very precious gift!