Obituary: Donald A. Rock, 93, of Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Donald A. Rock, 93, of Portsmouth, died Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Providence, RI.

He was born October 20, 1924, in Morrisonville, NY. He is the son of the late Alfred and the late Helen (Ayotte) Rock. 

He was married to his beloved wife Catherine I. Kelso for 56 years.

Donald started his education and long teaching career in 1937 at the age of 14 at The Brothers of Christian Instruction in Alfred, Maine. He taught in Waterville Maine from 1942-45. He met and fell in love with Catherine Kelso and decided to leave the brothers and pursue his career in education in Middletown R.I.

He was a graduate of Plattsburg State University where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Education in 1951; he also attended Bridgewater State University where he earned his Masters of Education in 1957. 

Donald won the John Hay Fellowship, in 1963-64, the only teacher from Rhode Island to win which allowed him to attend Northwestern University in Chicago. 

Donald was a teacher at Middletown High School from 1954-84, during which he became the head of the English Department for many years. He was loved by all of his students and enjoyed teaching with all his heart. After retiring from the school department, he taught at the Community College of Rhode Island for another 10 years.

Donald was an avid golfer, he hit not one, but 3 holes in one in his golf career at Green Valley Country Club. Even after retiring from the game he could be found at the 19th hole enjoying lunch with friends and family at the Club where he was a lifelong member.

Donald was very involved in with St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth he was a Eucharistic minister for years he helped build the church and the new rectory.

He is survived by his daughter, Donna Rock of Carmel Valley, CA.

Donald is preceded in death by his siblings; Charles Rock, Herbert Rock, Robert Rock, Alfred Rock, Bertha Hoffmann, Dorothy Prairie, Mildred Gowett, and Ruth Gagnier

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 4 to 7 pm at Connors Funeral Home 55 West Main Road in Portsmouth, RI.

His funeral will begin on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at 9 am in the funeral home, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am in St. Barnabas Church, 1697 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 

Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association 245 Waterman Street Suite 306 Providence, RI 02906, or to the Robert Potter League for Animals P O box 412 Newport, RI 02840.

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