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.