Ercole (Eric) Petrocco
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Ercole Petrocco was a long time Glenwood Springs resident and Marble old timer. He passed away on Sept. 19, 2009, he was 90 years old. His parents, Antonio Petrocco and Elena (Spiriti) emigrated from Pico, Italy to Colorado in the early 1900s. Ercole was born in Lime, Colorado in 1918 and grew up in Marble. He graduated from Marble High School in 1936. Ercole worked for the Vermont Marble Co. as a blacksmith assistant and ran jackhammers and bar drills in the Marble quarry. In 1939, he worked at the Marble mill as a polisher. One of his last jobs at the mill was polishing the marble columns for the Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. Ercole enjoyed talking about the tough times in Marble, including brutally cold winters spent in their small house with the coal stove glowing cherry red. After a day’s work at the quarry, he would hike down the mountain along Yule Creek, catch a trout and fry it with some potatoes that he had brought along.
Ercole was drafted into the Army in 1941 and joined the famous Bushmasters unit that trained for jungle warfare in the Panama Canal. They saw action at New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago and Luzon under General Douglas MacArthur. After WWII, Dad returned home and in 1949 married Pauline Petrocco. He then re-enlisted in the Army and together he and Pauline traveled the world. They had six children along the way who were raised as “army brats” as Dad moved from post to post. Dad retired from the Army in 1964; the family moved back to Colorado and he worked at the U.S. post office for 10 years. In 1971, Ercole and Pauline divorced and in 1972, he married Ruth (Fulbright) Dwire.
Ruth and Ercole were together for 34 years before her death in 2006. They went to the Glenwood Springs pool every day, taught their grandchildren and great grandchildren how to swim, and made many friends there. Ercole and Ruth established long relationships in the Glenwood area and had many friends and were loved by many. He was in great physical shape and still worked out up to the age of 90. He attended every annual Italian picnic until last year, played bocce ball, and loved the good food and friends. Ercole was an avid and great fisherman; so much so that his grandkids were always competing with him. He was an ace at horseshoes and was his son Mike’s hero. Mike liked to think of him as the original “Italian Stallion”.
Ercole is survived by his children Debbie, Mike, Susie, Donna, and Julie (Samora), Ruth’s children Carol (Chuck) Dickerson and Ramona (Gary) Lambert, sister Mary Jane (Ernie) Noto and brother John (Mary) Petrocco, and many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He lost his oldest daughter Becky in 2007. A private family memorial will be held and Ercole will be buried in the New Castle Cemetery next to Ruth.
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