peterandwife sm



Rock, David


August 8th, 2019,

It is difficult to put into words the fullness of life that was Dr. David J Rock of Westfield, NJ and Orlando, FL. David was a life-long educator, spiritual advisor, musician, actor, master gardener, gourmet chef, author, poet, outdoor enthusiast, artist, naturalist, loving father of three children and husband of Cathy Rock for 50 years. David was born in Sterling Illinois on June 12th, 1932, the son of Dr. and Mrs. William Rock. He attended Catholic Community High School in Sterling and then spent two years at Loras College, Dubuque. In 1952, he went to Louvain, Belgium, where he attended the American College at the University of Louvain. He was ordained as a Catholic priest on June 29, 1958. Dr. Rock also received a Master’s Degree from St. John’s Collegeville and a Licentiate of Canon Law (JCL) degree from Catholic University.

Some years later he realized that he wanted to start a family of his own, so he made the decision to leave the priesthood. One magical day in Chicago, March 4th, 1969, David fell in love at first sight with Cathy Farrell, who was also preparing to leave her life as a nun in the Dominican Order. Their love story is one for the ages and they created an amazing life together. David went back to his graduate studies and earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration while Cathy continued teaching in Wisconsin. They had three children within 3 years. In 1977, they moved to Westfield, New Jersey where David was Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for the Westfield Public School District, and where his three children attended from Kindergarten through 12th grade. He was an active member of St. Helen’s Church, where he could be found playing guitar and singing every Sunday. He regularly participated in youth ministry musicals, church events, and community events for over twenty years and was truly a father and mentor to the Westfield community in so many ways. When Cathy retired as Superintendent in Watchung NJ, they moved to Orlando, FL in 2005 to be closer to one of their daughters and two grandsons. Although he suffered a massive stroke shortly after, through the use of technology, he maintained an active lifestyle. He participated in genealogy research, wrote blogs and stories for his community newsletter, published a children’s book, counseled and laughed often with his wife, children and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Catherine Farrell Rock, his three children Patrick (Dr. Lisa Macri) Rock, Eileen (Ben Briggs) Rock, and Molly (Marcus Myers) Rock. He also leaves his brother, Dr. Richard (Mary Ellen) Rock. He was a beloved “Bampa” to grandchildren Cole, Colin, Olivia, Sylvie, Joshua, and Sully. A memorial of David’s life will be conducted on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 6:45pm at Family Funeral Care, 13001 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL, 32837.

David and his wife Catherine were members of CORPUS from its beginnings in the early seventies.


Catherine Farrell-Rock

5173 Deer Creek Dr.

Orlando, FL 32827-7643