Prayers will be at 9:15 a.m. at Fox Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 15, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at St. Christine Church in Youngstown to be celebrated by Father Christopher Cicero and Father Thomas Ziegler as Concelebrant for Thomas “Tom” Anthony Rochford.
Loving Husband, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Uncle and Friend, Tom passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family at his home on the “Rochford Compound” on May 2, 2018. He was 82 years old.
Tom was born to Anthony and Mary Kate McAndrew Rochford on June 9, 1935. At the age of 18, he started working in the grocery business at Century Foods. It was there that he met Mr. Gainard and Mr. Price, from whom he eventually bought the Gainard & Price Meat Store. After that store closed, he continued onward to fulfill his dream of owning and operating his own shop by opening up The Meating Place on July 4, 1981. He was accompanied in this endeavor by his best friend from first grade, Jack Weaver (who he called Jocko). As a result of his passion for the business, Tom became known to many as simply, the “Butcher.” The Meating Place in Austintown is still open today and is now owned by Tom’s loyal friend Ray Harnevious. Ray was like a son to Tom.
Tom also enjoyed the time he spent as the “grass cutter” of the many acres of his family’s land. After attending church, or even after a long day of work, Tom would come home, get on his tractor and mow grass for hours on end. He also enjoyed relaxing on his hammock outside while either listening to the sounds of nature or some of his favorite tunes on the radio. For a guy who attended only one day of college, he was wise beyond his years and was successful in all that he did.
Tom was married to his Ursuline High School sweetheart, Margie Dreiling for 61 happy years. Together they raised eight children. He particularly enjoyed the many family gatherings and dinners he had with the Stoops, Dreiling and McGunigal cousins, as well as every wedding, family birthday party, and trip to Geneva-on-the-Lake, the Outer Banks, NC, or any of various gambling destinations, a favorite pastime.
Tom also cherished his beloved sister, Evelyn Stoops, also known as “Dee Dee.” This was the name Tom gave her during her early childhood and the endearing term stuck. Tom and Dee Dee’s strong Catholic faith, Irish heritage and loving upbringing not only prepared them to endure many hardships but also endowed them and their families with many blessings and abundant memories.
Tom defined a good and successful life as being blessed with family and friends. By that measure, he succeeded in life at the highest level. One of the few advantages of dying slowly from cancer is that you have time to prepare for the inevitable loss of a loved one’s life and this extra time allowed so many of his friends and family to see him in his final days. He will be deeply missed by his wife, children Margie (Jay) Stanwood, Jeff Rochford, Karen (Ed) Pierson, and Colleen (Bill) Nagy, all of Columbiana, Kevin (Rebecca) Rochford of California and Kelly (Scott) Daum of Chicago. He also leaves behind 22 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, a son-in-law Randy (Julie) Horvath and daughter-in-law Loretta Rochford who will cherish the memories of their dad & grandpa forever.
Tom is quoted as saying “I would have done nothing different in my life.” However, the most difficult time of his life was burying two children. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Tommy Jr., and daughter, Mary Ann Horvath. He will be deeply missed by many people whose lives he touched, from his extended family to his loyal customers and friends.
Family and friends may call on Monday, May 14 at Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street, Boardman, from 2-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Fox Funeral Home.
The family would like to thank the Hope Center and Hospice of the Valley for the kindness shown to their husband and father during his last days at home.
In lieu of flowers, Tom’s wish is that you would do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone in his name. If you would like to make a donation, please donate to either Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, 4250 Shields Rd., Canfield, OH 44406 or St. Jude Building Fund, 180 7th St., Columbiana, OH 44408, where he was a member for 47 years.