Obituary of Arlene A DiRocco
Arlene Ann DiRocco, a dedicated and active member of the Burlington community, passed away on December 10, 2023, at the age of 85. Arlene led a fulfilling life marked by resilience, determination, and a profound commitment to her family, work, and community. Her approach to challenges echoed Theodore Roosevelt's sentiments in "The Man in the Arena," embodying the spirit of someone who wholeheartedly engages in life's endeavors.
Originally from Somerville, MA, Arlene graduated from Matignon High School and later moved to Burlington with her husband to raise their two children. Despite prioritizing her family, Arlene held a strong desire for a career in business. As soon as her children started school, she secured a part-time position at an aerospace company in Bedford, MA, showcasing her ability to take on increasing responsibilities. After a few years, she ascended to a leadership role. Concurrently, Arlene pursued further education at Northeastern University, attending night classes. She eventually left Spacetac to join Prime Computer, where she achieved several milestones, contributing to the development and deployment of the inside telemarketing team and leading the World-Wide Large Account Marketing team., Becoming one of Prime Computer's earliest female directors was a breakthrough achievement which brought with it a different set of hurdles. Despite the challenges, she persisted and continually moved forward, emphasizing the importance of attempting new things and not fearing mistakes. Though she greatly enjoyed her professional pursuits and the international travel that her position required in helping establish a cohesive team; she eventually decided to leave the corporate world.
After leaving her business role, Arlene entered the next phase of her life, immersing herself in community involvement in Burlington. She became active with the Council on Aging, eventually assuming the role of chairperson, succeeding the late and wonderful Muriel O’Brien. During the holiday season, Arlene, Muriel, and others visited senior centers and nursing homes, spreading joy through Christmas carols, and delivering small gifts to the elderly. Arlene also hosted the weekly call-in show ‘Open for Discussion’ on local cable. Her BCAT show welcomed diverse perspectives, reflecting her belief that all voices should be heard as she never shied away from topics of the day, no matter how controversial. Her husband, Enrico, served as her constructive critic, offering feedback for improvement upon her return home from the live show. Shocking. Yeah, not really.
In recognition of her hosting and producing efforts, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Producer of Excellence Award in 2013 for her work with BCAT and, ‘Open for Discussion’. In addition to all of this, Arlene contributed regular columns to the local newspaper at the time; The Burlington Times Union. Arlene was an advocate for those without a voice, working tirelessly to help people in need.
Beyond her commitments, she loved spending time with family and her grandchildren, and she engaged in creative pursuits like writing poetry, and providing resume assistance on the side. And her compassion extended to our four-legged friends as she was involved with the local Basenji rescue league- and had owned 4 Basenjis over her lifetime, but that’s a story for another time.
She was the loving wife of the late Enrico DiRocco, the beloved mother of Donna DiFabio and her husband Nick of Billerica, and Ed DiRocco and his wife Emily of Carlisle. She was the loving grandmother of Alex Loomis and her husband Nick of Harvard, Samantha McKay and her husband Gary of Billerica, Danny DiFabio of San Diego and Isabella and Charlotte DiRocco of Carlisle. Arlene was the great-grandmother of Callahan and Quinton and the sister of the late Leo Johnson and Robert Johnson.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend her Funeral Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, December 20th, at 12 Noon at St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington, MA. Burial will follow the funeral Mass at Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Arrangements are by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington. Memorials in Arlene’s name may be made to the Burlington Council on Aging, 29 Center Street, Burlington, MA 01803. To leave a condolence for her family or view her memorial slideshow, please visit www.sullivanfuneralhome.net.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050