FOCUS ON ROCCO FLORIO (October 21, 1901 - October 5, 1983) AND CLEMENTINA MAZZEO. (See photos below.)
Rocco Florio was a leader among the Padulese community in Oyster Bay, New York and was one of the minority of Padulesi immigrants who could read and write. He would act as an emissary from the Padulesi in Oyster Bay when he went back and forth to Paduli bringing letters and small packages of gifts to families in Paduli and carrying back the latest news to the Padulesi immigrants living in Oyster Bay.
Rocco, an outgoing personality, was born in Paduli on October 21, 1901. His father, Angelo Maria Florio, may have originally been from Bari. He too was a shoemaker and presumably taught youg Rocco the skills necessary to making and repairing shoes. Rocco's mother was Raffaela Di Napoli. Clementina's mother was a Scaramuzzo related to the Scaramuzzo family in Oyster Bay, including to the current President of the Italian-American Citizens Club, Peter Scaramuzzo. Although Clementina was a Mazzeo, according to her daughter Nancy, she may not have been related to the Padulesi Mazzeos in Oyster Bay. Rocco's brother Emilio also lived in Oyster Bay with his wife Alessandra Lombardi Florio (see picture below).
Rocco and Clementina had four children, all of whom are living in the United States. Their first child, Angelo (89), was born in Paduli and came to the United States with his parents when he was three years old. He was called John, after his Confirmation name. He currently lives in Emaus, Pennsylvania, near Allentown. Angelo was a boxer in the Golden Gloves and also was involved in deep sea diving. He ran a company called Jaflo involved in tree work, mulch and clearing wires.
Nancy Florio Portes, baptized Annuciata, lives in Huntington Station, New York. Nancy went to Saint Dominic's school in Oyster Bay, as presemably did her brothers and sisters. She provided most of the information about her parents in this vignette.
The third child is Emilio, nicknamed Army. Several years ago he and his sister Nancy and their brother Rocco, Jr. (see next) attended the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Italian-American Citizens Club of Oyster Bay.
The fourth child, Rocco (81), lives in Florida with his wife Sylvia.
Rocco Florio was a shoemaker by trade. For many years his shoeshop sat on the west side of South Street between the corner of South Street and Orchard Street and the firehouse. The building is no longer there. Passersby could often hear the excited shouts of the Padulesi men playoing Bocco in the summer evenings in back of Rocco's shop and home. Rocco DiNapoli, the baker, was Rocco Florio's first cousin.
Rocco was an active member of the Saint Rocco Society and the Mutual Aid Society.
COLUMBUS DAY PARADE 2007
On Monday the 8th of October, 2007, approximately a dozen people from the Oyster Bay Italian-American Citizens Club and representatives of the descendants of Paduli in America marched in the parade under the banners of both the World Padulesi Association and the Italian-American Club. The names of the marchers are listed below:
Tina Connelly (Marmorale) Randy Daub Donato (Danny) Capozzo) Alex DeAngelis James Murphy Timmy Murphy Terry Aquilino (Messera) Michael Aquilino Lori Petruzzelli-Touponse Marshall Touponse Lewis Eastlick Maria Eastlick Roxana DeAngelis Louis Yannucci
Lewis and Maria Eastlick came all the way from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to be in the parade. Lewis is descended from the Calderazzo and Mazzeo families of Paduli. He and Maria visited Paduli this summer and met with relatives in the Calderazzo family including Tommaso and Danilo Calderazzo (President of the Associazione Padulesi nel Mondo), Verena Calderazzo and Barbara Calderazzo, daughters of Tommaso and Marina Calderazzo (Maldifassi). Jim and Timmy Murphy are the husband and son, respectively, of Mary (Bette) Murphy (DeAngelis) and the brother-in-law and nephew of Alex DeAngelis. Lori and Marshall came down from Watertown, Connecticut to be in the parade. Lori is descended from the Limongelli family. Danny Capozzo, a long-time resident of Oyster Bay, originally comes from Molinara, a town near Paduli. He and Lou Yannucci and Randy Daub carried the Club banner. Tina Connelly (Marmorale) is the sister of Vincent Marmorale who is well-known as an expert on the role of the Italians in saving many Italian jews during the Second World War. Roxana DeAngelis is the daughter of Alex DeAngelis. She carried the Italian Flag while her father carried the Flag of Paduli. Marshall Touponse carried the American Flag. Tina, Lori, Lewis and Maria carried the banners of the World Padulesi Association.