Rocco Ventrella

Published 3:22 pm Monday, November 29, 2021

Aug. 27, 1929 — Nov. 20, 2021

Colonel Rocco Francis (Rocky) Ventrella, Jr., US Army Retired, passed on Nov. 20, 2021, in Cape Carteret, North Carolina.

Colonel Ventrella was born Aug. 27, 1929, in Niles, Michigan, the son of Rocco Francis, Sr. and Grace Trankina Ventrella. He graduated from the US Military Academy, West Point, in 1953 and was commissioned in the Infantry. Colonel Ventrella was a Ranger and Master Parachutist, and served in Austria, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. During his military career he commanded units in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, and his assignments included being: The Associate Director of Admissions & Registrar at West Point, Chief of the Middle East Region Office of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Staff Officer to the Commander of the Seventh Fleet, Inspector General of the Military District of Washington, D.C., and an Officer at the Department of State.

Colonel Ventrella’s military awards included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Air Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

He retired from the military in 1985. Subsequent to his military career, Colonel Ventrella served as a Resource Manager with The Fairfax County Virginia Park Authority. Colonel Ventrella and his wife Joan relocated from Virginia to Cape Carteret, North Carolina in 1994, where they made their permanent residence and he served as a Cape Carteret Town Official.

Colonel Ventrella is survived by his wife of 68 years, Joan Fanning Ventrella, and daughters, Roxanne Marie Adams and husband Rick Adams, Joanne Grace Latham and husband David Latham, grandchildren John Adams (Annie) and Leigh Adams Cairo (Jason), Sam Latham (Brittany) and Jack Latham, and great grandchildren Rocco Robert Adams, Louis David Adams, John Phillip Adams and Peyton Caroline Latham.

A memorial service will be held at West Point, New York, with inurnment in the West Point cemetery.

Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at

Arrangements are by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory, Morehead City, NC.