Obituary of George Walter Rocklein
George Walter Rocklein was born on December 9, 1935 to George Washington Rocklein, Jr., a Mechanical Engineer who worked for Pfizer, and Beatrice Sophie Elly Rocklein (neé Granz), a homemaker. He was called “Rocky” by his closest friends and family; rambunctious and curious as a youth, he was lucky to have survived his childhood.
Raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and then Plandome, Long Island as an older teen, George attended Cornell University and earned a BS in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. Early in his career, he worked for WJ Barney, he then engineered bridges for Hardesty & Hanover and later moved onto Grumman as a designer, where he was fortunate enough to work on the Apollo Lunar Module (yes, the one that went to the moon).
A hopeless romantic, George was introduced to Helen Elizabeth Murphy by Bill and Virginia D’Antonio and on their first blind date fell head-over-heels in love with the “light of his life.” They married September 7, 1963 and raised three children in Manhasset, NY. They had a large fun-loving group of friends and enjoyed going on trips, dancing, and entertaining at each other’s homes.
A self-proclaimed family man, George decided to work closer to home and accepted a position at the Town of North Hempstead in the department of Public Works as a Civil Engineer; he worked there with his childhood best friend, Bill D’Antonio, until his retirement at the age of 55.
George had a vibrant sense of humor that he held onto until the very end. He loved old movies and playing the stock market, as well as collecting garage sale treasures; he was a yard sale mavin and could find the best screw or hammer there was to be found. He collected swords, war souvenirs, medals, padlocks, keys, spurs, flags, pocketknives, plum bobs, old books, drafting instruments, interesting tools, watches (even broken ones), and valueless foreign currency: all of which he cherished and proudly showed off to almost anyone who was interested in a tour of his troves. He also loved the card game Bridge, a hearty pot roast, dinner at Villa Milano, and a cup of Louie’s Manhasset Restaurant’s pea soup.
George is survived by his three children, George Walter Rocklein, Jr. of Lake Forest, IL, Kathleen Rocklein Sontag of Manhasset, NY, and Jean Rocklein Palmer of Huntington, NY, as well as his six grandchildren, Emily, 20, Cameron, 19, Ian, 19, Alison, 17, Megan, 17, and Brooke, 14.
If interested, he would have appreciated donations in his wife’s name (Helen E. Rocklein) to any Alzheimer’s charity, here are a few:
Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
Alzheimer’s Disease International
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation