Hilária Ribeiro Rocha, 81, of New Bedford,passed away on April 20,2022 at the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home after a brief illness. She was the beloved wife of the late Arnaldo Alberto. Hilária was born in Cortiços, Portugal and was the daughter of the late Leonor and João Rocha. Hilária, known more affectionately as “Neca” by family and friends, was a talented seamstress, baker and cook.
For the 1st half of her life, Hilária lived with her husband and children in Macedo de Cavaleiros, Portugal where she was highly sought after for her seamstress skills and would make the school uniforms for the city schools and many other clients in the area. As a baker, she also had many dedicated patrons who would come to her home for her homemade sourdough bread, amazing meat folares and pastries. She was an amazing cook. No one could replicate her amazing dishes. She loved to cook for the family and her children cherished the weekly Sunday dinner gatherings that took place for many years.
For the 2nd half of her life, she emigrated to the US with her family to seek a better future for her 5 children. She had worked as a seamstress at Cliftex Corporation until her retirement. She was a lifelong soccer and Benfica fan.
In her later years, her greatest joy in life was her grandchildren who all called her Vovó “Neca”. She helped raise many of her grandkids during their primary years. She had a heart of gold and her children are forever grateful for the unconditional love she showed them.
She is survived by her children; Joe Rocha and his wife Gina, Connie Rocha-Mimoso, Hilária Sousa and her husband Octavio, Arnaldo Rocha, Elisabete Rocha-Medeiros and her husband Michael; 8 grandchildren, Nadia Pereira, Catarina Rocha, Tiago Mimoso, Marcelo Rocha, Claudio Rocha, Gabriela Rocha-Medeiros, Juliana Sousa and Adriano Sousa; 1 great-child Zara Hilária Pereira. She is predeceased by her siblings Candida Valverde and Placido Rocha, and is survived by her siblings Bernardino Rocha, João Rocha, Fernanda Rocha, Leonor Vinagre, Flávio Rocha, and Nair Honrado as well as several nieces and nephews in the US and Portugal.
Her Funeral Mass will be said Tuesday, April 26th at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church at 9am. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held Monday evening from 5-8pm