Lorenzo Gordon Rochester was born January 31, 1939 in Westwood, New Jersey. He was the 5th of 7 children born to Eliza Branch Rochester and Frank Rochester, Sr. He was ambitious and hardworking as a young boy, a trait which followed him all of his life. As a young boy, he worked at a golf course, and later, at a diner after school. He attended Westwood High School, where he played football and graduated, earning an academic High School diploma. In 1957, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC); trained at Camp Lejeune, NC and served his country honorably while deployed to Okinawa, Japan.
Lorenzo met Emma Jane Brown from the Bronx, New York in 1958 and they married in 1960. From this union, came a daughter, Renee’ Jeanne’ Rochester, born in 1961. They moved to Roosevelt, New York (Long Island) in 1966. A strict, but attentive father, Lorenzo attended & chaperoned many of his daughter Renee’s school field trips. The family enjoyed vacation road trips to Canada and Florida, as well as family gatherings and beach outings. Lorenzo and Emma divorced in 1975, but remained friends.
Lorenzo began his Law Enforcement career as a Corrections Officer with the New York City Dept. of Correction. In 1968, he successfully tested and was appointed to the position of Police Officer with the Nassau County Police Dept. in Nassau County, New York (Long Island). As a Police Officer in the New Cassel / Westbury / Hicksville area, Lorenzo was very active in the community. He served and volunteered with several organizations, especially those involving the youth. He was a member of the ‘Big Brother’ organization; he was a long-standing Founding member of the Nassau County Guardians Association; he received many citations & awards of merit; and was well-known, well-liked and loved by the community. It was during this time that he worked with & developed a life-long friendship with his partner, fellow Police Office Charles Blount.
Police Officer Rochester saved lives too, one such occasion took place on June 23, 1978, when he jumped into the pool of his neighbor (Mrs. Charlene Devany) to retrieve an “unconscious” young boy, Kirk Lawrence, who was “lying at the bottom of the pool.” The off-duty officer “hoisted” Lawrence out of the pool, “performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, felt life come back into the child [and] the boy began to cry.” Officer Rochester “called for an ambulance…which rushed Kirk to Lydia Hall Hospital in Freeport.” (New York Post, 6/23/78).
On June 24, 1978, Lorenzo married Marcia’ Beverly Foster of Westbury, New York. They settled in Freeport, New York (Long Island), in a lovely 100-year old home they lovingly restored together. Still active in the community, Lorenzo studied and became a Mason, earning his 33rd degree and served as a Past Worshipful Master. He was very learned and knowledgeable about the Masons and conducted classes for new members. He remained a very active Mason until his health prevented him from doing so.
Lorenzo took college classes at Nassau Community College, while working full-time as a Police Officer. He started a cleaning business, L&G Cleaning, with a friend, Frank Goldwire. He kept that business into the 1980’s, when he sold it to a family friend, Garnet McKay. Lorenzo enjoyed his extended family, and especially enjoyed his nieces and nephews. He enjoyed hosting family barbecues, where he continued a family tradition of roasting a pig during the summer, with his brothers, cousins, neighbors & friends.
Lorenzo helped many young people gain entrance to Law Enforcement careers as Police Officers; he coached them and even helped them study & prepare for the exams. He felt a great deal of pride in assisting young people, a trait that followed him all of his life.
In his retirement, Lorenzo enjoyed swimming in his pool, playing golf and learning tennis. Hunting was a passion that also followed him into retirement. Deer meat (Venison) was his favorite food and he prepared it very well… (well enough to fool people into believing it was ‘beef stew’ or ‘stew meat’!!).
Lorenzo leaves to mourn him: Marcia’, his wife of 43 years; daughter Renee’; granddaughter Ivy; nieces and nephews; great-nieces & nephews; huge numbers of friends & extended family.
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