Leonie Schnellmann Cocchiarella, age 95, passed away Monday, April 26 at Superior Residences of Niceville, Niceville Florida. She was born January 27, 1926, in Bern, Switzerland, to Rosa Schnellmann.
In 1949 as a young woman, Leonie’s love of adventure and fluency in 4 languages brought her from Switzerland to the United States. In 1952 an opportunity to move to Casablanca, Morocco, to work as a translator, resulted in her meeting her future husband, Rudy Cocchiarella. In 1955, they returned to NYC where they were married and she became a US citizen. Soon thereafter they were off to Spain. After a few years they returned to first live in New York City, and then Verona, New Jersey. In 1969, the family moved north to settle in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Leonie was kind-hearted and generous, becoming a good neighbor and friend to all who knew her, including all God's furry and feathered creatures. She could be found almost daily walking Gloucester’s Back Shore, the beach of Braces Cove, around Niles Pond and along the back roads of Eastern Point. Leonie loved to play golf every day possible at Bass Rocks Golf Course and play bridge with her many friends. She loved music and would start dancing every time she heard music playing. Leonie and Rudy were seen at almost every dance and music celebration along the North Shore. In 2012, Leonie and Rudy made their final move to Niceville, FL, to be closer to family.
She is survived by her 3 children, Carol (Scott) of Morgan Hills, California, Claude (Diane) of Niceville, Florida and Carl (Kate) of Vail, Colorado; 4 grandchildren, Kristin (Scott), Robbie (Phil), Tucker, and Rachel; 2 great-grandsons, Beau and Colton Kaskie. Leonie was preceded in death by her husband Umberto (Rudy) and only sister Emilie Fierz.
“Mom, we hope you have all the Swiss chocolates and beautiful flowers you desire, many dogs to walk, and are dancing with joy in Dad's arms once again ... Yodel-Ay-Hee-Hoo”
The family would like to thank the following for their loving care and assistance over the past 9 years: Crystal Bay Senior Living of Destin, Superior Residences of Niceville, Twins Cities Hospital, and Emerald Coast Hospice.