Josephine "Jo" Bocchino of Glen Cove died of complications of...

Josephine "Jo" Bocchino of Glen Cove died of complications of COVID-19 on April 28 at the age of 93. Credit: Rosemary Bocchino

Longtime Glen Cove resident Josephine "Jo" Bocchino was the star of the show at Sunday dinner.

Her biggest hits were eggplant parmigiana and lasagna — if it was someone’s birthday, she would make their favorite pasta, said daughter Rosemary Bocchino, whose husband loved the baked ziti.

Even after Josephine Bocchino moved into Sunrise at Glen Cove, an assisted living facility, a few years ago, her family would visit on Sundays with her children bringing lunch.

But that had to end in mid-March when the matriarch became ill with flu-like symptoms and visitors were no longer allowed.

Bocchino died of COVID-19 on April 28 at Glen Cove Hospital. She was 93.

She was born in Brooklyn and at 5 years old moved to Glen Cove, where she remained for the rest of her life.

Before she met her husband, Bocchino was the heartthrob of Glen Cove, said her daughter, Joyce Miller.

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Young men who had been drafted to fight in World War II would write Bocchino letters from overseas, Miller said, even if they had just seen her from afar.

One such long-distance admirer was Paul Bocchino, who had spoken to his future wife before he was shipped off to fight in Europe and asked for her address.

"He had seen her and fallen in love with her at first sight," Miller said. "She was very pretty."

Paul Bocchino returned from the war and the two began dating. They were married in 1947.

Throughout her life, Josephine Bocchino always dressed her best — she never answered the door in a housecoat — and was a peacemaking presence around the house who always tamped down disagreements, her daughters said.

For example, Bocchino, a Democrat, was able to head to the polls alongside her Republican husband without the slightest bit of conflict, Miller said.

"They used to laugh," Miller said. "They’d go out to vote and say ‘we just canceled each other’s votes.’ "

Paul and Josephine Bocchino moved to the assisted living center in 2015 and he died the following year.

She was eventually moved to Glen Cove Hospital after falling in March but throughout her final weeks, she still kept up with her family through FaceTime.

"I talked to her multiple times a day," Miller said. "I miss that."

In addition to Rosemary Bocchino and Miller, Josephine Bocchino is survived by another daughter, Joanne Michaelson, and a son, Frank, as well as five grandchildren.

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