Ernest Mocci, always there for his family

October 11, 2018

Ernest Mocci, 85, of Lewes, passed away suddenly Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. His loving wife and family were by his side.

Ernest was born in Hazlet, N.J., July 29, 1933 (The Feast of St. Lupo). He was the son of the late Amelia and Joseph Mocci who immigrated from Naples, Italy. He was the youngest of 9 siblings.

Ernest graduated from Key Port High School and joined the family agriculture business, Three Corner Farm, based in the Hazlet-Homdel area. In 1958, he married the love of his life, Margaret (Meg) Shanahan, and together they raised four beautiful sons. Years later in 1968, Ernest retired from farming and founded Tri-County Distributors in Hazlet, from which he enjoyed many years of success.

Ernest was a life member of the Hazlet Volunteer Fire Company, serving in many capacities for 58 years. He was also a member of the Two Hundred Club of Mammoth County, N.J., which distinguished heroic fire service. He received this award for saving a fellow fireman’s life.

Ernest never met a stranger; everyone was like an old friend to him. Upon retiring in 2002, he moved to Wolfe Pointe, Lewes, where he joined the Lewes Volunteer Fire Company. He filled many roles, but he especially looked forward to helping at the Children's Fire Prevention Safety Week in October. In Lewes, Ernest was also active in his community, the Lightship Overfalls, and the Lightship's Dirty Hands Gang.

In his free time, Ernest enjoyed driving his 1939 Chevrolet and sharing it with others. He enjoyed traveling the world with his wife, and was an avid hunter. He took great pride in teaching his family and friends the safety, licensing and rules of the sport.

Above all, Ernest loved being there for his family no matter how much he had going on. As a young father he never missed any of his sons’ events. The same went for his grandchildren who were the apples of his eye. Ernest was a mentor to his grandson Jake when he obtained his Eagle Scout rank. He never missed a lacrosse game for Alyssa or Dillon, and always looked forward to Alyssa’s vocal concerts. He enjoyed dancing and singing with his grandchildren, and many cruises with his son Joe and family.

Ernest was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and dear friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Mocci was preceded in death by his beloved son Patrick in 1996; his three brothers; and his five sisters. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret (Shanahan) Mocci; his sons: Ernest Mocci Jr. of Reeds, Mich., Edward Mocci and his wife Mali of Brick, N.J., and Joseph Mocci and his wife Teresa of Lewes; and his grandchildren: Jake Mocci, Alyssa Mocci and Dillon Mocci.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, at 11:30 a.m., at St. Jude The Apostle Catholic Church, 152 Tulip Drive, Lewes, where friends may call beginning at 10 a.m. Last alarm will immediately follow the services. Interment will be private. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Lewes.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Mr. Mocci's memory to the Lewes Fire Department, 347 East Savannah Road, Lewes, DE 19958, the Overfalls Foundation: 219 Pilottown Road, PO Box 413, Lewes, DE 19958, or St. Jude Catholic Church, 152 Tulip Drive, Lewes, DE 19958.

Please visit Mr. Mocci's Life Memorial Webpage and sign his online guest book at