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James William LaRocca

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James William LaRocca Obituary
James William LaRocca died December 8, 2018 at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico. James was born to Vincent and Mildred LaRocco in Oak Park, Illinois. He attended Proviso High School in Maywood, Illinois. In his high school and college years, he was a wrestler. He attended Purdue University, where he participated in ROTC and Chicago Art Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Art. James was a long time resident of Durango. He worked as a professional artist, adopting Prehistoric Arts & Language. His passion was studying the ancient civilizations, learning ancient languages and customs. He admired: the prehistoric man, his life, medicines, clothing, day to day life. He frequently talked about cures for bodily ailments which were based in nature. He wrote extensively about his leanings encouraging his family to make changes to their lifestyle. James outlined his burial clothes as European and Near East, a necklace of sea shells, flowers and his body to be sprinkled with red earth. These requests reflected his commitment to the ancients as James lived in the modern world. James was an accomplished artist in oils, water colors, sketching and sculpture. His work was reminiscent of Rembrandt, Sir John Reynaldo, Corregio and J.D. Ingres. James was a frugal gentle soul, friendly, and generous to people. He lived his life as he saw fit adopting Durango as his home many years ago.

James is survived by brother William A. LaRocco of Santa Maria, California; sister in-law Roberta M. LaRocco; nephews Vincent A. LaRocco, Matthew W. LaRocco both of Santa Maria, California; grand-nephews Dominic, Matthew and Anthony of Santa Maria; grand-niece Victoria of Santa Maria; Various cousins living in Chicago area, Florida, and California.

A Memorial Service will be held Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Hood Mortuary Chapel, 1261 E. 3rd Ave., Durango, with burial to follow at Greenmount Cemetery.
Published in The Durango Herald on Dec. 17, 2018
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