Phyllis A. Della-Rocca, an accomplished fisherwoman and homemaker, died May 31 from a bacterial infection at Brightview Assisted-Living Mays Chapel. The former Hunt Valley resident was 90.
The former Phyllis Ann Julio, the daughter of Theodore Julio, a builder, and his wife, Anna Julio, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in the city’s Kernwood neighborhood, moving in 1951 with her family to a home on Broadway and Falls roads that her father had built.
She was a 1947 graduate of St. Michael’s Business School and worked as a medical secretary for a psychiatrist at the old Rosewood State Hospital in Reisterstown prior to her marriage in 1963 to Gaetano “Guy” Della-Rocca, an Italian immigrant who worked as an engineer for Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Gilbane Building Co. and Century Engineering Inc.
He died in 1994.
An active member of the Sons of Italy, Mrs. Della-Rocca helped organize Italian festivals at the Inner Harbor and Rash Field.
Mrs. Della-Rocca was an avid fisherwoman and was inducted into the Ocean City Marlin Club after she landed a 55½ pound, 7-foot-3-inch white marlin.
“She was the only woman on the expedition,” said her daughter, Doreen E. Ercolano of Selbyville, Del. “She continued to fish well into her 70s, often joined by her granddaughters.”
For more than a decade, Mrs. Della-Rocca, who had a wide circle of friends, would meet with a group for dinner and conversation on Wednesday evenings at the Panera Cafe in Timonium.
Since 2014, Mrs. Della-Rocca, who enjoyed driving, had lived at Brightview.
She was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by two brothers, Carl T. Julio of Hunt Valley and Edward V. Julio of Towson; and twin granddaughters.