Amy Elizabeth La Rocca

Amy Elizabeth La Rocca, 57, of Valley Cottage, NY, passed away on Monday, May 27, 2024. She was predeceased by her beloved parents, Robert and Barbara La Rocca. Survived by her loving brother Robert Joseph La Rocca, as well as many dear relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Amy was a librarian for the Suffern Free Library for 20 years and her public service extended to other libraries throughout the Rockland County Library System for 21 years before that. She will be remembered always by all who loved her, knew her, worked with her, or who benefited from her years of service as a patient, kind, dedicated, and loving soul.

Visiting hours are Tuesday, June 11, 2024 from 4-7 PM at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Avenue, Northvale. Cremation will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Amy’s memory may be made to the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association.


  1. My deepest condolences go out to Amy’s family, friends, neighbors, the people she served in her lifelong calling as a public librarian, and all who were blessed to know this beautiful human being.

    Amy was one of those extraordinary people in life who were born to do what they do — a person who, when you saw them do their job, you just knew you were in the presence of the very best of what the human spirit is capable of — of someone who was giving their entire heart and soul to something good and decent.

    Amy’s meticulous care and development of the Suffern Free Library’s collection was matched only by the remarkable way she served the people who came into the library — always with patience, always with kindness. Amy gave all of herself to helping others in her work as a librarian and supervisor at the Suffern Free Library. She was truly ALL IN.

    As a reference librarian for the Suffern Free Library, I had the special privilege to see Amy do what she was born to do, five days a week, for almost nine years.

    She was my boss, and she was the best boss I’ve ever had. You know, they say you don’t know what you got until it’s gone, but the thing is, I DID know what I had WHEN I had it. I can remember so many mornings, driving to work, looking forward to working with Amy, to learning from her, to seeing what the day might bring. To have a boss you look forward to working with, a boss who is fair, who makes you BETTER at your job, who you admire, and who you consider a friend — that is extraordinarily rare.

    I will never forget Amy. I feel so blessed and so grateful that I got to be in her wonderful company for almost nine years. She was a beautiful human being, a friend, and a role model to me. I’m going to miss her for the rest of my life.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Andrew, thank you for your kind words. Amy always spoke of you very highly and fondly, and she knew she could always rely on you. Your kind words mean a lot to me and I’m sure to everyone else who will read them as we all come to terms with Amy’s sudden and too-soon passing. Thank you.

    • Andrew this is a beautiful tribute. Thank you for expressing so much that is in our hearts about Amy. Our hearts are broken

    • Elisa Posniack

      Andrew this is so well said. They always say it’s not what someone said or did, it’s how they made you feel. When we would go to the library, I would see Amy’s smiling face and willingness to help. Many people will turn away to avoid being asked questions or for help but she did not. The kind of person who puts others before themselves. Gd bless her.

    • Terry Barbanell

      That is one of the most beautiful and loving testament to a human being. It makes me extremely happy and sad at the same moment of reading this. I have always been a person to praise and admire someone for their job with all of their heart, mind, soul, as you say your boss did. I’m so sorry for your loss and to the family and friends of Amy and our community. The only other thought I had was that you must now go
      Forth and provide the love and care she put into everything she did. Honor her by emulating her spirit at your job and helping everyone you work with by being your absolute best in all ways. You will hold her close to your heart that way and you will definitely make this world a much better place. My deepest condolences.

    • What a very beautiful picture you’ve painted of Amy. I only knew her as a patron that continues to use the many services this wonderful library provides.
      Any question or assistance that I requested from this sweet soul, was always given with not just professionalism but a kind smile and patience. The world needs more people like her.
      I was so shocked to hear of her passing and extend my heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and co-workers. She will indeed be missed.

  2. Jennifer Smith

    I remember when the position of head of reference opened up. I knew she was the one who could do it and she did. She loved the Library and her work family and we loved her. My heart is broken. I want to rewind time to about three weeks ago when Amy Nancy and I went out to celebrate our birthdays. We did this every year. This year we were having trouble finding a date we would all be available. It is a true blessing that we had that last dinner. We laughed and talked and won some rubber ducks. She was my friend she will always be with me.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you, Jen. Amy always spoke of you with great appreciation as a colleague and great love as a friend. She told me about your triple birthday party and how glad she was that the three of you had finally been able to get together, and what a good time she had. It’s a comfort to me that she had such a loving library family. She loved you all too.

  3. Dear Bobby, we were shocked and so sad to hear about dear Amy, our sweet flower girl at our wedding. We have so many great memories of visiting your family in Tappan. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace. ❤️. Barbara & Louis

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you, Barbara and Louis. I’d forgotten that Amy was your flower girl! That brought a smile to my face. Thank you for your fond remembrance of her. She will always be with us.

  4. Carol Connell Cannon

    So beautifully worded, Andrew. She was a joy to work with and inspired me with her example of public service and care for all the staff.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Likewise, I offer condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you for your kind words, Carol. Amy was very happy to work with all of you — you were another family for her.

  5. Joanne Mattern

    Amy had such a big heart. Her mission was to help people, and she was so good at it. Working with her at the Suffern Free Library was a pleasure. The grief and concern I’ve seen from our patrons is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I just hope Amy knew how much she was loved and how many lives she touched.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you, Joanne. It’s been a great solace to hear how much Amy was loved by her colleagues and fondly remembered by patrons. In all areas of her life, she was always very patient (when necessary), kind, and generous.

  6. Angela DeSerio

    Dear Bobby,
    We are so sorry to hear about Amy’s Passing. She was such a beautiful, sweet soul. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Rest in peace Amy.
    Kevin, Angela, Scott, and Denille DeSerio

  7. Gertrude Szyferblatt

    I am one of those library patrons who Amy’s co-workers are referring to, and I can’t begin to quantify the countless times Amy has offered both reference assistance and friendship to all who came by her desk. No amount of time was too long, or effort too great… Amy was always there to help. Her wealth of knowledge was truly astounding, but more importantly, her kindness and empathy, and her desire to always make someone else’s life better or easier is what made her so uniquely special. I still come around the corner into the reference room expecting to see Amy’s welcoming smile, and I know how many other patrons join me in expressing how deeply Amy is appreciated and will be missed. I have long thought of Amy as the heart and soul of the reference department, and that’s how she will always be remembered.

    My sincerest condolences to Amy’s brother and relatives, as well as her colleagues, on their loss of a truly exceptional person.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you so much. Hearing how much Amy was valued by everyone at the library, staff and patrons, is a great comfort to me and her family.

  8. Dear Amy, I hope you realize how special you are to all of us at Suffern Free Library. Thank you for being a true team player. The staff and patrons hold you in their hearts.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Amy was always there to help whoever needed it, in any way she could. She was a special person who will be missed but never forgotten.

  9. Kim Demetriou

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Amy’s passing. I am grateful to have had the privilege of working with her and calling her a friend. I respected her greatly and liked her even more. She will be missed.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you very much. Amy loved her library family, and it’s a comfort to hear how much she meant to them.

  10. Raymonde Beauvais

    Please accept my sincere condolences to Amy’s brother, friends and colleagues, Amy was simple beautiful, devoted to a great purpose in life. She always there to help. I can recall how many times I would ask Amy for help, she never complaining. I love her so much, and she will be missed

    I love you dear Amy,
    your friend

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you, Raymonde. As you said, Amy was very devoted to her life’s work, which was helping others. Her spirit survives her.

  11. To Robert LaRocca, the extended family, friends, and community of Amy La Rocca.
    I would like to send my deepest sympathy and prayers to you all. My name is Cedric Mills, I’m a close friend of Robert. I had the pleasure of meeting Amy in Los Angeles visiting her brother two Summers ago. My first impression was how sweet, beautiful, pleasant and how, “just like Robert” she was and often ask of her well being. The three of us having brunch that afternoon will always be impressionable to me, all because Amy was there. To you all, I share your heavy heart during these times. And to you my friend Robert, I mourn with you. I know how much Amy meant to you, I feel your anxiety, I know how overwhelming this is, I know how confusing and unreal this all seems, I too experienced a mix of all these and many more emotions the passing of my sister. Just know you have people that love and support here in Los Angeles and most of all you’re not alone in this. Last, we all know tomorrow is not promised, it’s knowing your loved one not here anymore however, time will help you with this.
    May God bless you Amy LaRocca rest well sister, family, friend, coworker and a pillar of the community.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you so much, Cedric, for your friendship and support, and for your consoling words. I’m so glad that you and Amy had a chance to meet. Remembering the two of you talking, big smiles on your faces, makes me smile as I write this. I know now a little bit of the grief you feel at your sister’s passing, and I know that we will always have them with us in our hearts.

  12. I am a new librarian at the Suffern Library and only worked with Amy for a few weeks. However, they were a highly impactful few weeks. I could tell how special she was even at the first interview. I am sorry my time with her was cut way too short but I’ll be forever grateful for that time and that she gave me a chance. Rest in peace, Amy. You’re forever missed.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you for your kind words, Melissa, here and at the memorial yesterday. Amy touched all our lives for the better, for however long that was — the quality of what she gave us is what will last.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. If this brings any comfort to you knowing one day you will all be reunited… I will be praying for the family of Amy La Rocca.


  14. I am so sorry for the loss of Amy, to her family, friends and the library, which I spend many hours here, it has become my second home. Amy was always very helpful to me, greeting me with a smile, teaching me Microsoft, recommending books ,or even ordering books for me. I will miss seeing and talking to her. Thank you Amy for your time.RIP

  15. I am so sorry for the loss of Amy, to her family, friends and especially the library. I spend many hours at the library, it has become my second home. I got to know her through the years, always greeting me with a smile, her helpfulness with teaching me Microsoft excel ,recommending books, and just her her presence.Thank you Amy for our time together, you will be forever missed. RIP

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you Rhonda. Hearing how much Amy meant to her colleagues and to the library patrons has been a great comfort to me and her family.

  16. Jennifer Cohen

    Amy was my supervisor for nine years at the Suffern Free Library. She was the one to give me my first full-time job in a library and she was the best boss you could hope for. Besides mentoring me over the years, she also was a great person: one year for my birthday, she and another coworker put together a plan to get me cats for my birthday because they knew I loved animals and, for years afterwards, she would volunteer to take care of those cats whenever I went on vacation. When I was having health or family issues, Amy was always completely accommodating and did her best to make sure that I was also taking care of myself. I’m going to miss Amy very much and the library is a much emptier place without her in it.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you so much Jennifer. Amy loved you and your cats and loved sitting for them. I’m very glad she had such a loving library family.

  17. I was honored to be on the board and run the booksales for a good number of years. I moved away for 6 years, and came back two years ago. One of my joys in returning was seeing that Amy was still there. Every day Amy was one of those people I hoped to see. Andrew said it best when he said she was ALL IN. A truer statement was never made. When I returned, she was helping me with the grant data base, among other things. She didn’t just point the way. She went on that journey with me. If I came in and asked about hoopla, she didn’t just give me a pamphlet. She took time with me, showed me details, and would even ask me about what kind of stories I was interested in. She was a top notch librarian, but she was also the epitome of a great customer service person. She was transactional, because she knew all the products, the library goals, the issues, etc. But no matter what, she still made me feel like the most important person. And I saw her treat everyone that same way. I didn’t know her outside of the library, but inside of it she felt like a friend. I will miss her greatly. To all of her family, friends, and coworkers, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I bet if there is an afterlife, Amy has already applied for and been assigned to be each and everyone’s guardian angel; because no matter what, she will always be ALL IN.

    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you so much Kathleen. Seeing so many people at Amy’s memorial yesterday and hearing your stories turned a sad occasion into a true celebration of Amy’s life, spirit, and work, and it’s very meaningful to me and the rest of her family and her friends outside the library.

  18. Amy was much more to me than an incredibly well-informed source of reference help when I needed it, although she was that. She was a model for all of us of how to live a life of love and service. She generously met each patron where they were, from the tech-savvy entrepreneur to the technologically challenged, not only with the breadth of her knowledge but also with equal enthusiasm, patience and kindness for everyone. Amy made it seem like the person she was helping was her top priority, and she’d help that person till every need was met no matter how long it took. I was inspired by her work ethic, professionalism, and empathy, but she was much more than inspiration for me. Amy felt like a friend. I am what you might call “a regular” at the Suffern Library, in the reference area almost every day. Amy was never too busy to say hello, have a casual conversation, to even banter a little. When things weren’t going well for me Amy always brightened my day. Sadly, as sometimes happens, we realize more acutely what her presence meant to us by the devastation we feel because of her absence. Her passing still feels surreal; she left us too soon. To echo Andrew’s eloquent, loving description of Amy, she was a beautiful human being, a beautiful soul, and I do feel blessed to have known her. My heart and sympathy goes out to her family, friends and colleagues. May Amy rest in peace.

  19. Robert, I am so sorry to hear about Amy. I enjoyed getting to know her at Sue’s parties and the many summer evenings we spent watching the Yankee play. If I knew you were coming I would always ask if Amy was coming too. She was the sweetest person and she will be missed by so many.
    My condolences to you and your family.


    • Robert La Rocca

      Thank you so much, Robin. Amy always looked forward to those parties and ball games, and enjoyed seeing all of you. It’s a consolation to know that so many people cared about her and remember her fondly.

  20. Kristin Mueller-DeSerio

    Deepest condolences to the La Rocca family.

  21. William OBrien

    We, Kathryn and William O’Brien, want to express our deepest sympathies to the LaRocca family, the Suffern Library staff and the library community regarding the passing of our beloved librarian ,Amy.
    We’ve known Amy for all the years she worked at the library. Always willing to help and offer advice in finding materials, Amy was outstanding in her duties and responsibilities. An example was in 2010, when our son started at SUNY RCC and needed a specific textbook. It was sold out locally and unavailable. I enlisted Amy’s help. Amy went above and beyond by securing the textbook from a university in the Middle East. We were astounded; but that was Amy. No challenge was too great for her.
    Even with more mundane requests, she would acquire the latest travel books to replace outdated ones on the shelves.
    I will miss the “Hello, Mr. O’Brien” she always greeted me with when transferred to her phone. She always recognized me by my voice.
    Recently I saw her on a stool in an aisle replacing books. I asked her if she was being demoted since it looked like she was. No she said, just doing some inventory. No task was too small for her.
    I commented on her new hair style and she smiled.
    She portrayed the warmth, bright airy feel of the library. Amy welcomed us into her library home with her smile, quiet demeanor and embraced us every time with her attention.
    Our community has lost not only an outstanding reference librarian, but an outstanding person.
    Amy, you will always be remembered by each of us as we walk into your Library.
    Thank you for all you did for us and your community here.
    Someone where you are may need your reference skills. They are lucky to have you.

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