Roger "Big Cat" Soccorsi, 63, of the Brookhaven Community, Morgantown, entered the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Sunday (Nov. 27, 2016) after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
He is survived by his two sisters, Beverley Soccorsi and Cynthia J. Cindi Staley and husband Glen; one niece, Jessica Colebank; nephew, Joshua Staley and wife Jennifer; great-nephews and niece Tyler Colebank and Marcus and Lily Staley.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred Chunky and Wavelene Gregory Soccorsi.
Big Cat was a retired construction laborer after serving 45 years with the Laborers Local Union 379. He got the name Big Cat when he was a bouncer for nearly two decades here in Morgantown when he would wear his CAT diesel cap.
He was a laborer on many Morgantown-area construction projects, including Ruby Memorial Hospital, the Mountainlair, Interstate 68 Cheat Lake Bridge and was especially proud to help in the construction of Mountaineer Field.
He started attending West Virginia University football games in 1963 as a young boy selling hot dogs and programs just to get inside the stadium. He attended 383 games and more than 20 bowl games. He started wearing his trademark gold hard hat in 1969. It is covered with WVU decals and a collection of buttons from various Mountaineer bowl games. He was a lifelong member of the Mountaineer Maniacs and could be easily recognized by his hard hat and his special apron.
Even though he had been unable to attend any WVU Mountaineer games for the last several years he remained a loyal fan. He had one of the greatest gifts he could have received when he was able to go to the Saturday evening WVU vs. Kansas game on Nov. 5. He visited with Don Nehlen and several former football players on the field to reminisce about the past. The family is very appreciative for the WVU event staff for making this possible. He stayed the entire game, cheering on the Mountaineers.
He was a lifelong resident of Morgantown and a 1971 graduate of Morgantown High School where he played offensive tackle for the Mohigans. He also loved NASCAR and traveled to Indianapolis to watch the Brickyard 400 from the infield. His home is filled with photos, newspaper articles, footballs, anything and everything related to Mountaineer pride. Big Cat was even featured as a character in many of Jeff Moore's posters and prints.
Big Cat cherished his many friends over the years and opened his home to those traveling from all over the country to attend Mountaineer sporting events, including New Jersey, California and North Carolina to name a few.
Honoring Big Cat's wishes, cremation was arranged by the Fred L. Jenkins Funeral Home.
In lieu of a traditional funeral service, help celebrate Big Cat's legacy this weekend at the Baylor game by wearing a blue or gold apron. Please consider leaving a memory on Big Cat's memorial site at www.fredjenkinsfuneralhome.com.
Donations can be offered to support one of Big Cat's favorite organizations, the Mountaineer Athletic Club, online at www.mountaineerathleticclub.com
The family would like to extend their appreciation and thanks to the doctors and nurses of Ruby Memorial Hospital, Cancer Clinic, WVU Family Medicine at University Town Center and Amedysis Hospice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.fredjenkinsfuneralhome.com.
Published on December 2, 2016