ENDICOTT — Deacon Dominic Rossi, 83, who ministered in the Diocese of Syracuse for 35 years, passed away Feb. 26. A Funeral Mass was celebrated March 3 at St. Joseph’s Church in Endicott.
A native of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Endicott, Deacon Rossi was a 1948 graduate of Union-Endicott High School. He served in the U.S. Navy for nine years, then began a 25-year career at IBM.
He married his wife, Ann, in 1956. Their families were friends, Ann said, and Dom’s sister married Ann’s brother in 1955. Ann and Dom got to know each other at their siblings’ wedding, and were engaged just a week later, Ann remembered fondly during a recent interview with the Sun. She said they made their wedding plans via letters while Dom was on the West Coast with the Navy and she was in Endicott. Married 57 years, the couple raised seven children together.
Deacon Rossi was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Syracuse in 1979, a member of the diocese’s second class of deacons. He served for more than 20 years at St. Anthony’s before moving to St. Joseph’s Church in Endicott, and was particularly involved in Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) programs.
Always active in his faith, Deacon Rossi became interested in the diaconate after reading about the program in The Catholic Sun, Ann said.
“We were open to the Holy Spirit,” she said. “We just said ‘yes’ and off we went. We were so in love with being in love with the Church. We had a passion for it.”
Bishop Thomas J. Costello recently remembered Deacon Rossi as a good friend and a man many relied on for help. He also recalled Deacon Rossi’s devoted service as “a team ministry — Ann was always with him,” he told the Sun.
Deacon Rossi is survived by his wife Ann; their seven children, Lori Rossi, Dina George, Pat Rossi, Jean Potenza, Peter Rossi, Matthew Rossi and Joanna Cotten, and their families; 12 grandchildren and a great-grandson; his sisters, Mary O’Malley and Anita Ciacelli, and their families; several nieces and nephews; and special cousin Libra Ferraccioli. He was predeceased by his parents, Carmella and Patsy Rossi; his brother, Mario, and sisters, Judy Mauro, Teresa Peris, Bertha Williams and Julie Ryan; and special cousin Aldo Ferraccioli.