NAUGATUCK — Robert E. Ruccio, 90, of General Dalton Drive, Naugatuck, husband of Tina (Caporaso) Ruccio, died at home after a brief illness.
Bob was born Oct. 24, 1921, in Naugatuck, a son of the late Anthony and Angelina (Mariano) Ruccio.
Bob graduated from Central Avenue Grammar School and Naugatuck High School in 1939. He began his 33-year career in education at Central Avenue School as a history teacher. With the opening of a new high school the old building became Hillside Middle School and Bob was named the first principal when it opened in 1959. Bob continued his own education as he worked at teaching others. In addition to the bachelor’s degree from UConn, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut, a master’s degree through the Southern Connecticut-Yale cooperative teaching program, and a 6th year certificate from Fairfield University. This scholastics background compiled with his administrative skills and his ability to work well with people resulted in Bob being named assistant superintendent of Naugatuck Public Schools in 1970. In the 15 years that followed, his major responsibilities were the personnel and physical facilities of the Naugatuck public schools. He retired from the school system in 1985.
Bob was extremely proud to be a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp serving as a staff sergeant. He served in World War II and returned to serve again during the Korean War.
Bob devoted his many years to his work and community. He served as director of Adult Education, master of ceremonies for numerous public events in Naugatuck, a member of Glendale Community Club, Naugatuck Exchange Club, and past member of the Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan Board of Directors.
Bob also played an important role in the establishment in St. Vincent’s Ferrer Church and later headed its parish council.
In 1986, he received the Exchange Clubs Gold Medal of Honor in recognition of outstanding devotion and service to Naugatuck.
In his spare time, Bob loved to read, garden, golf, and watch UConn Basketball.
Everyone that knew Bob had the utmost respect for him as a true gentleman and a fine educator. The most important part of Bob’s life was his family and friends. His wife, children, and grandchildren were the light of his life and dearest to his heart.
Besides his wife of 63 years, he leaves his two sons, Mark E. Ruccio and his wife Pam of Naugatuck, Paul M. Ruccio of Waterbury, and his daughter, Roberta R. Buckmiller and her husband Terry of Naugatuck; his sister, Jane Ruccio Boyne of Hamden; his sister-in-law, Wilma “Sis” Ruccio; his three grandchildren, Josh Ruccio and his wife Jodie, Erin Ruccio, and Ashley Ruccio; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by six brothers, Jerry, Joseph, Anthony, Frederick, Charles, and Francis, and two sisters, Rose Perrotti and Julia Bonafe.
The family wants to thank the doctors and nurses of Waterbury Hospital for their warm and attentive care.
The funeral will be held Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m. from the Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck, to St. Vincent Ferrer Church for a mass at 10 a.m. The burial will be in St. James Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Naugatuck Exchange Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 641, Naugatuck, CT 06770 and the United Way of Naugatuck, 284 Church St., P.O. Box 209, Naugatuck, CT 06770.
In memory of Bob, we ask that you commit an act of kindness for one person whom you do know and one person whom you do not. And at the end of the day, whether it be a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, lift your glass and give a toast to Bob.