Joseph R. Rosati Sr., a well-respected plumbing contractor with a reputation for taking care of his employees, an amateur football coach and a friendly guy who liked to hang out with his friends at the Rolling Green Golf Club, died Saturday of liver cancer. He lived in Drexel Hill.

Joe owned Joseph Rosati Plumbing and R&L Plumbing Contractors, which specialized in new construction plumbing. Recent projects included several new Super Wawa Stores and the Eagleview Development in Chester County.

He cherished his employees and they became like members of his family.

Joe had a reputation as a great conversationalist and one of his favorite topics was his family and how much he treasured his five children, 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

He was born in Philadelphia to Anthony Rosati and the former Philomena Santangelo. He was raised in West Philadelphia and graduated from John Bartram High School in 1952.

In 1956, he married Grace Cariola and they bought his family home in West Philadelphia. They began raising their children there and in 1971, moved to Drexel Hill.

Joe was a longtime member of the Rolling Green club in Springfield, where he met with his cronies for golf and sit around the clubhouse playing gin or just kibitzing.

His favorite event was Italian-Irish Day, in which players of each ethnic group met in friendly competition.

Joe coached the Rockne Athletic Club, a semi-pro football team from West Philadelphia, for 14 years. He led the team to four championship seasons and was named Coach of the Year in 1969.

Christmas was Joe's favorite holiday and he enjoyed lighting up his home and watching the children's faces as they passed by.

"He was truly the spirit of Christmas," his family said.

"Most of all Joe will be remembered by all of his family and friends for his compassion of heart and generosity."

Besides his wife, his grandchildren and great-grandchild, he is survived by two sons, Joseph R. Rosati Jr. and Anthony J. Rosati; three daughters, Regina M. Weinhardt, Lisa A. Lupinacci and Philomena A. Rosati; two brothers, Anthony Rosati and Michael Rosati, and two sisters, Helen Marinozzi and Rosalie Brennan.

Services: Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Bernadette Church, Turner and Bond avenues, Drexel Hill. Friends may call at 5 this evening and 9 a.m. tomorrow at the D'Anjolell Memorial Home, 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall. Burial will be in Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wissahickon Hospice, 1 Presidential Blvd., Suite 125, Bala Cynwyd, 19004, or the American Cancer Society, 1615 West Chester Pike, Suite 102, West Chester, PA 19382. *