Rocco Ambrose

January 13, 1942 ~ April 9, 2021 (age 79)


Rocco M. Ambrose, 79, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, April 9, 2021, at St. Luke’s Hospital with his loving family by his side.

Rocco was born in Utica, January 13, 1942, a son of the late James and Rachel (Maida) Ambrose. He was educated in local schools and a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School. Following high school, he served in the U.S. Army, during the beginning of the Vietnam War, and was honorably discharged.

On November 11, 1961, Rocco was joined in marriage to Josephine (Baidisow). Rick and Jo shared over sixty loving and devoted years of marriage.

Rocco was a loyal and dedicated employee, who applied his skill set to Mohawk Data Sciences, Utica National Insurance, and Utica First Insurance, up until his retirement.

Rick was an avid 1/32 scale slot car racer, enjoying building his own tracks and cars. He was one of the original founding members of the Can-Am Slot Car Club. He had a passion for youth sports and was a President of the East Utica Little League Association. He thoroughly enjoyed coaching Little League Baseball and MUNY League Softball, many of which were successful winning seasons. He was a dedicated fan of the Washington Redskins, New York Islanders, Utica Comets and was a closet Yankee fan (but rooted for the Dodgers). He especially enjoyed watching his grandson play hockey. Rick was a history buff and loved to read stories of WWII and work on his model war planes. Rick and Jo belonged to the North Utica Senior Center, where they enjoyed spending time with friends, playing Pinochle and Pitch. He was also unbeatable at horseshoes and always loved sandbagging an opponent. Although he had many interests, his main interest was always his family and he loved spending time on Wellesley Island on the St. Lawrence River, fishing with the kids. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, who will be forever missed.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Josephine; his daughter, Christina Ambrose, of Whitesboro; his son, Jeffrey Ambrose and his companion, Tracey Ross; adored grandchildren, Jacob Ambrose, Stephanie Ambrose and her fiancé, Nick Madonia, Nick Rowan, and Sam Gambino; a sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Carmen Salvatore; a sister-in-law, Pat Ambrose; and also many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Janet Almond; a brother, James Ambrose; and a sister, Barbara Bilodeau.

Relatives and friends may call on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Matt Funeral Home, 700 Rutger St., at Mohawk St., Utica. We are operating at 50% capacity at the funeral home. Face masks covering the nose and mouth, social distancing, and Covid tracing will be required. During these trying times a message of sympathy on our website is always a great comfort to the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to one of Rick’s favorite charities, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rocco Ambrose, please visit our floral store.


April 13, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Matt Funeral Home
700 Rutger Street
Utica, NY 13501


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

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