Donna Virginia LaRocca Cotterell marries John “Jack” Holroyd in Las Vegas on October 3, 1958, per online Vegas wedding records difficult to decipher. Found on ancestry.com.
Patriarch Joseph Ned LaRocca dies of lung cancer towards the end of 1959.
Ned LaRocca’s grave is in Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar.
Below are closeups of Ned LaRocca’s death certificate. It looks like he spent about a year in a sanitarium located on Foothill Blvd. in the Tujunga/Sunland area. I have been unable to learn if this was specifically a Christian Science sanitarium, (his wife was a CSP) but I have learned that the Tujunga area was considered to have cleaner air than other parts of the San Fernando Valley.
Note the name of last employer: Leith Stevens.
The 1960s Begin
In 1960 and 62, Virginia LaRocca is listed in the phone directory at 13204 Riverside Drive, about 2 miles from Grant High School (at 13000 Oxford Ave). This is also the address listed on Joseph Ned LaRocca’s death cert. above, November 1958. I don’t know if he ever lived at this address or was in the sanitarium.
Donna and Jack Holroyd are registered Republicans in 1960 and 62 per ancestry.com voting records. Their listed address is an – apartment -building on Oxford Ave. The building location is easy walking distance to Grant High School.
Virginia LaRocca is named owner the “double” house at 3710/12 Arbolada Rd. on an LA building permit. This house is only one mile from the home on Evans St.
Donna has a voter registration record with this address in 1944. (seen in ancestry.com)
Robert Morgan Cotterell name is listed as a POW with this address in 44. Joseph LaRocca is listed in the LA telephone directory with this address in 1948.
Arbolada Rd. is a dead end street. It’s high on a hill with an incredible panoramic view of the area. It’s close to their Evans St. home and near famous Griffith Park.
Coincidentally, 3710/12 Arbolada is about 5 minutes by car from 3311 Waverly drive, home of Manson “family” victims Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
Antonio LaBianca, father of Leno LaBianca, bought the Waverly house in 1940. So the 2 Italian families,(Joseph’s wife Virginia was not Italian but Mormon with English ancestry) were neighbors at one point, even if they never met.
Ned and Virginia LaRocca may have purchased the Arbolada double house to accommodate the extended family members who occasionally stayed or lived with them here, per directories, voter registrations and marriage notices.
This includes: Joseph’s niece Mildred Marinell who moved out from Peoria, Ill.
Virginia’s sister Josephine Harker, her sometimes singing/dancing partner back in the days of vaudeville, their daughter Donna, their son-in-law Robert, and granddaughters Constance and Diana Cotterell.
All these names (except for the girls) were linked to the Evans address from 1938 through around 1947, per records.
It’s easy to imagine the Evans house ( by Marshall High School ) was too small to fit all those family members comfortably. I have seen city documents of the original house plan.
Donna and Robert’s divorce was final in 1947.
Virginia LaRocca had been a full time Christian Science Practitioner by the 1940s and a Christian Science Reader at some point. Her income from this is unknown. She had her own phone per listing in LA phone books for many years for this purpose.
The city of Los Angeles experienced a housing shortage during the post-war years. More so than usual.
This fact caused me to wonder as to how the LaRoccas could afford the 2 houses in the early 1940s.
I didn’t find an exact answer but the next several chapters may shed some light on the upwardly mobile direction of the LaRocca/Cotterell family.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
View from Arbolada Drive is spectacular as is the original building itself.