Rosario Sorbello1
Rosario Sorbello, Jr.
  • 83 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 31, 1933
  • Date of passing: Nov 6, 2016
Love and memories last forever...

Rosario Sorbello Jr, age 83 peacefully departed this life on November 6, 2016 surrounded by his beloved wife, children and grandchildren. Rosario is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary (nee Nicolosi) his six daughters, Joan Adams; Nedda Grasso (Leonard); Rosemary Botto (Joseph) Susan Lewbart (Randy); Julie Barile (Dean DeBroekert, MD); Debra Conners (Peter), his fifteen grandchildren, Richard Adams, David Adams, Katherine Wilson, Ben Wilson, Julianne Grasso, Leonard Grasso, Jennifer Botto, Joseph Botto, Jeremy Lewbart, Joshua Lewbart, Kyle Barile, Benjamin DeBroekert, Jacob DeBroekert, Sophia Conners, Billy Conners and one great granddaughter, Scarlett Wilson.

For many years Rosario was the proprietor of Rosario Sorbello Farms of Mullica Hill and along with his wife and daughter, Debra, operated Sorbello Girls Farm Market.  Prior to that he farmed with his father and brothers as Rosario Sorbello Sons farm in Swedesboro.  Nicknamed by his friends as “The Gentleman Farmer” Rosario was a quiet, kind and extremely generous man, known for his quick smile and helpful spirit.

He served for many years on the Elk Township Zoning Board, as a Ewan Volunteer Fireman, for his church on the St. Alfio Committee and as past president of his deer club, but his days were filled with love and laughter with his children, his grandchildren and great grandchild.  

Rosario was a man of few words, but when he spoke, his words resonated. Never one to boast or brag, he was generous to a fault.   Anyone who was in need of assistance would find him ready and more than willing to pitch in and lend a helping hand.

He dedicated his 83 years on this earth to the life of a farmer. Growing the most beautiful peaches and apples as well as a host of vegetables.  He was always the topper at the end of the packing line because he knew exactly how to make the pack beautiful and he took great pride in doing things right.  

Coming from a culture which prized a son to carry on the family name and a profession which needed a son to carry on the business, he was blessed with six daughters.  As time passed and he grew older, as his joints hurt more as he got on and off the tractor, and when shutting off the irrigation pump at 4 am just got harder to do, he never complained.  He never once bemoaned the fact that he had not had a son, instead making every child feel as if they were unique and very special.  He said often, “I am the richest man in South Jersey because of these girls”. He was most proud of the fact that he raised six women who each were accomplished professionals, able to take care of themselves no matter what life threw at them. From the time they were very young he would say “They don’t make men like they used to so you girls have to know how to take care of yourself”. To his last day on this earth he was most proud of the women they had become.  He raised an attorney, an accountant, a physical therapy assistant, a teacher, a registered nurse, and a public relations specialist.

He was a wonderful story teller and loved a good joke.  Although a bit reticent, if asked he would participate willingly in the card games with his grandchildren, the photo shots on snap chat and in the annual Christmas skits.  He had a beautiful voice and car rides with his girls were punctuated by singing along to the country radio station.   Having created a very musical family, he loved nothing more than listening to his children and grandchildren sing in church, exhibit their musical prowess on the multitude of instruments they played and entertain at each family gathering with a musical review that rivaled America’s Got Talent (or maybe Hee Haw).

No description of Rosario’s life would be complete without discussing the love and joy of his life, his wife of 60 years, Mary.  They had 6 children in 9 years and worked together in the shared goal of creating a life. They farmed together. While Rosario worked in the field, Mary ran the roadside market.  They were blessed to enjoy a time when they could travel together, seeing the world. Mary is an avid photographer and artist and Rosario never minded taking a moment so she could stop and take a picture or two . . .or ten.  He followed her on her Cape May diamond hunting excursions, and allowed himself to be immortalized in clay or paint or soap. He was a good sport. Mary was by his side for each joy and sorrow of their journey.  She was his love, his friend, his companion and his biggest cheer leader.

Rosario was predeceased by his parents, Rosario and Jennie (Finocchiaro) Sorbello, his brothers, Joseph, Michael and Alfio Sorbello. His sons in law, John J. Adams, Esq.; Ens. Ralph Barile and Officer Daniel Kellett.  

Services will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, 17 Earlington Avenue, Mullica Hill. A visitation will begin at 8:30 am until 10:45 am and Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am. For more information or to leave your remembrances, visit FertigFuneralHome.com.       

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory and as a tribute to his love for his children to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, stjude.org., The John J. Adams, Esq. Memorial Scholarship 1534 Kings Highway Swedesboro NJ 08085 or the Ralph A. Barile Memorial Scholarship, 607 Bridgeton Pike Mullica Hill NJ 08062.  

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Carolyn Hamilton on 19th November 2016

"For the last thirty years I've been going out of my way to visit Mr. Sorbello's and Mary's farm market because of the goodness I felt coming from the people working there. Our sympathies to the family of this humble and kind man.  Bill and Carolyn Hamilton"

This tribute was added by Sue Cartlidge on 13th November 2016

"Debbie and family,
My weekly visits to your farmers market have always made me feel welcomed. Part of that, was seeing "Pop" sitting in the corner with a gentleness and grace. He always greeted me, a complete stranger, with a kind word or two. I literally lost my dad 3 weeks ago, so I totally understand the overwhelming sadness. Please know I am sending prayers to your whole family.
Until we meet again, kind sir...rest in peace!"

This tribute was added by Alfred Nicolosi on 10th November 2016

"Dear Mary and family,

You know how much we all loved Junior.   How lucky you were to have found each other and to have enjoyed 60 years of a true partnership in marriage.  Your wonderful daughters and their partners, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren are a living memorial to this special man.  Reading the tributes from his daughters convinces me he understood and bonded with them on deeper level than many fathers.

I appreciate that Junior put up with my eccentricities and stories during all those Sunday nights at mom and pop's.  He was always patient and willing to listen.  

My sincere condolences for your loss.  The days and nights ahead will be shaded with grief, but I hope the laughter of your children and grandchildren will give you courage to live each day until you are reunited for eternity.

Love,

Fred and family"

This tribute was added by Diane Bonagura on 9th November 2016

"My dear Uncle Junior was always my dear father's "voice of reason" the ying to his yang...I have countless memories of him and am blessed to have had him as a second dad...I give thanks for all of  his hugs. He was ALWAYS kind, gentle yet strong, and wise!"

This tribute was added by Joan Kellett on 8th November 2016

"Dear Sue
You and your sisters made your Dad a proud man. We know him as devoted to your Mom and family, hardworking, and handsome. We share your sadness but his life is memorable and commendable.
"Mom K.""

This tribute was added by Joan Kellett on 8th November 2016

"Nothing but praise for such a wonderful gentleman who always greeted us when we stopped at the farm market.
Our Danny has been gone 27 years which is as long as we had with him and we know he welcomed Rosario who had always welcomed him.
Hopefully your grief is lessened by the wonderful memories you can constantly revisit.
The Kellett family sends love."

This tribute was added by Shannon Mastronardo on 8th November 2016

"The Mastronardo Family sends their condolences.  What a beautiful tribute you prepared and the choice of music is so beautiful.  So well deserved for such a kind man!"

This tribute was added by Shannon Mastronardo on 8th November 2016

"My heart breaks for you Mary!  I am grateful to know that you had  shared 60 beautiful years as husband and wife!  What an amazing job you did TOGETHER!  His spirit lives on forever in so many hearts!  I knew from Danny how protective he was of his daughters and the tremendous pride he had of each one.  He made an impact on so many lives!  Love and hugs to you and to our Sue!"

This tribute was added by Jennie Williams on 8th November 2016

"Uncle Junior was rock star handsome! His laugh was one of kind. Memories of sorting peaches with him and the brothers fill my childhood memories with happiness and a sense of family that extends and connects me to my beautiful Sorbello cousins. I love you all and aunt Mary so much, and my heart breaks for your loss.  XO"

This tribute was added by Lori Graves on 8th November 2016

"My heart is so heavy for all of you.  My father before his passing loved spending time with dad.  Two Italian boys talking about life. I loved seeing dads smile! You are in my prayers. I love you all"

This tribute was added by Angelo Grasso, Jr on 8th November 2016

"A kind and gentle man.  A devoted husband and a loving father.  A person who had the respect of his peers and non-peers alike.  To strive to be any of these is commendable.  To achieve all of them is admirable.  Rosario Sorbello was all of these and more.  His was a life well lived.  He will be missed but never forgotten.  He lives on in the many lives he touched.  God bless and Rest In Peace."


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