rge Petroccione, longtime reporter and photographer for the Albany Democrat-Herald, died Thursday, June 22, 2006 at his home of complications from prostate cancer. He was 59.
   He was born in Yonkers, N.Y., on Nov. 27, 1946, the son of Virginia and George Petroccione. He grew up in Peekskill, N.Y. As a young adult, he worked in the tape archive department at Reader's Digest and IBM in the New York City area.
   He loved dogs, especially Chesapeake Bay retrievers. He worked for Seeing Eye Dogs for the Blind in New York. In 1969, he moved to Sacramento, where he worked for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He married Sharon Harper on Nov. 27, 1975, in Prineville, where they resided until moving to Albany in 1981. He worked on the press and later in the photo darkroom at the Central Oregonian in Prineville.
   That experience piqued his interest in journalism.
   He attended Linn-Benton Community College and worked at the Commuter student newspaper for two years as photo editor.
   He earned a bachelor's degree in technical journalism and minored in photography at Oregon State University.
   He was the editor of the OSU Barometer in 1990.
   After a summer internship at the Democrat-Herald, he became the newspaper's weekend photographer in the spring of 1988, county reporter in 1995 and east Linn County reporter in 1997. He was a fan of the New York Mets and The Grateful Dead. He is survived by: his wife, Sharon, and daughter Nicole of Albany. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Fisher Funeral Home. Ray Allen will officiate. A meal will follow at Fairview Christian School, 35100 Goltra Road S.E., Albany.
   Memorial contributions may be made to Fairview Christian School in care of Fisher Funeral Home, 306 Washington St. S.W., Albany, OR 97321 (
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