Gerard O. Rocque, 92, of Fredonia passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon (Feb. 12, 2023) at home surrounded by his loving family. Gerard was born on September 6, 1930, the son of the late Leo Rocque and Rosalie (Plude) Rocque in Whitehall, NY. He graduated from Whitehall Central School in 1947 and continued his education at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn. before completing his education at St. Bonaventure University, graduating with the class of 1951. In 1956 he married Donna (Bentges) Rocque and relocated to Silver Creek, NY. He began working at George Bentges Distributors, and in 1971 was honored with the Sammy Award presented by the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association for his numerous civic and charitable endeavors on behalf of the Boy Scouts in his community. He retired as president in 1997.
Mr. Rocque joined the Boy Scouts of America in 1940 and remained a member until his death. He served in numerous capacities as Scout Master, Council President twice for Allegany Highlands Council, and also as Area Chairman. He was also a member of the National Advisory Board and Chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting and the International Catholic Committee on Scouting. He was the recipient of the Silver Beaver, Antelope, and Buffalo Awards. He was also honored with the St. George Award, the Golden Ad Altare Dei Award, and the Spes Mundi O’Connell Award. He was with Pope John Paul on three occasions and attended twelve Boy Scout National Jamborees as Chairman of Arena Shows and an International Jamboree in South Korea as Chairman of Transportation.
For thirty years, Jerry was involved with Chautauqua Adult Day Services and was board president for twenty years. In May of 2022, he was honored with the naming of an activity room at the Bercik-Lucks Center in Jamestown, NY. He was on the Board of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation for fourteen years and also volunteered with Literacy Volunteers. He started the United Way of Silver Creek and merged it with the northern Chautauqua United Way. He was also a founder of the Silver Creek Irving Heritage Foundation.
Jerry was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5356 in Silver Creek, NY which he founded, and also a member of the Elks for 72 years. He enjoyed singing and was a member of the Two Staters barbershop quartet which sang at many venues in western New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. He also sang with the choirs at St. Hyacinth’s and Holy Trinity churches and was a lector at Holy Trinity. He also enjoyed flying and got his pilot’s license at the age of 50.
He was preceded in death by his mother Rosalie, his father Leo, and brother Douglas. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Donna (Bentges) Rocque, and his six children. Thomas Rocque (Vicki) of Silver Creek, NY; Timothy Rocque (Deb Rice) of Silver Creek, NY; Suzanne Rocque (Peggy Sisson) of Fredonia, NY; Paul Rocque (Hilary Fagnan) of Silver Creek, NY; David Rocque of Greer, SC; and Kathleen Rock (Darryl) of Fredonia, NY. Surviving grandchildren are Brian Rocque, Abigail Rocque, Kevin Rocque (Sierra), Kaitlyn Rocque, Ryan Rocque, Alexandra Rocque, Andrew Rocque, Corey Dawley, Zachary Dawley, and great-grandchildren Alivia and TJ.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated Thursday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 4-7 p.m. at the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.