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Facchini, Rocco

Evanston, IL
June 6, 2004

Published June 8, 2004 (Chicago Tribune)

Rocco A. Facchini loved to spin a tale. A former Catholic priest with a sometimes-crude sense of humor, He was deeply spiritual and raucously funny--the kind of man, relatives say, whom people would come to for advice--or a joke. Rocco Facchini, 74, died Sunday, June 6, in St. Francis Hospital in Evanston of complications after surgery. He died just hours before he was scheduled to sign copies of his book, "Muldoon: A True Chicago Ghost Story," at the Printers Row Book Fair. "He had such a sense of humor," said his wife, Della. "It was irreverent, but he was still a holy man. That's what made it so damn funny."

Rocco grew up in Chicago, and graduated in 1956 from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. He served as diocesan priest at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Melrose Park and St. John Bosco and Our Lady Help of Christians parishes in Chicago. He left the priesthood after 16 years after becoming disillusioned with the church, his wife said.

Rocco went on to work as a certified property manager for Wirtz Realty Corp. He was on kidney dialysis for the last seven years after experiencing problems following heart surgery. At the prompting of his children, he began writing his book in October 1999. One son, Daniel, helped write the book, and his other son, David, helped illustrate it. The book was about a ghost that haunted a rectory and about the history of the Catholic Church in Chicago.

In addition to his wife and two sons, Rocco Facchini is survived by a sister, Theresa Carsello; two brothers, Gerard and Frank; and a granddaughter, Alexandria Marie.

May he rest in peace.