Jimmy Rivas Rocha of Corpus Christi, born on September 16, 1925, passed away on May 11, 2021 at the age of 95. A lifelong resident of Corpus Christi, he was one of 14 children born to Luis and Olegaria Rocha.
Jimmy was a POW of World War II, where he served in the US Army from March 1944 to October 25, 1945. He was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and held captive in a German concentration camp. For his heroic service, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal.
Upon returning from War, he met then married, the love of his life Maria F Rocha, on September 27, 1947. They were married for 71-years, until her death in 2018. They raised 3 children, Lolita, Paul and Richard, and were the grandparents to 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Among his title of a US Veteran, he retired from Southern Community Gas Company in Corpus Christi. An active member on the Board of Directors for the Boys Club of Corpus Christi, he volunteered his time and knowledge teaching the youth how to weld. He enjoyed traveling in support of the Boys Club baseball team and was an avid fan.
He was a man who “knew no strangers”. His infectious smile and laughter are something that will always be remembered. The “King of Corny Jokes”, his quick wit and love of comedy made him easy to connect with. Whether traveling with his wife Maria, taking in the bright lights and casino life of Las Vegas and Coushatta, or being the first in line at the local Bingo Hall, he was always convinced he was going to “hit it big”. At one of the local Bingo halls, he pioneered the creation of a Veteran Wall, a memorial wall for local Veterans to be honored and remembered. An avid hunter, he loved spending time out in the wild with his sons and grandsons.
His pride and joy were his family. Words cannot describe how proud he was of his family – no matter who he knew, or met, his family was always a topic of discussion and he made sure he introduced them to everyone – even if they had already met. Always willing to lend a helping hand, or fatherly advice – he loved his family unconditionally.
Jimmy is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Maria F. Rocha, his parents Luis and Olegaria Rocha, and 12 siblings.
He is survived by his children: daughter Lolly Starkweather and husband Michael, son Richard Rocha, and son Paul Estrada and wife Crystal; as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren: Candy and Robert Bonilla, Tony and Evelyn Smith, Heidi and Christopher Garcia, Ricky and Sandra Rocha, Taylor Sellers, and Ava and Naomi Briley; his brother, Alberto Rocha, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 5:00-9:00pm on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Corpus Christi Funeral Home. A Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. that same evening. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 5620 Gollihar Rd., Corpus Christi, TX 78412. Interment to follow at Seaside Memorial Park.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 5/20/2021 at 06:55 PM, Central Standard Time.
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