Utica, NY - Mr. Raffaele Ruggiero, 87, of Utica, passed away on Friday, July 3, 2020, at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Born in Coreno Ausonia, Italy, on October 4, 1932, Raffaele was a son of the late Giuseppe and Maria Francesca (D’Onofrio) Ruggiero.
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Raffaele met the love of his life, Oliva Durso, in a small church in Ausonio, Italy. On October 15, 1960, in St. Pietro Church in Esperia, Italy, the couple were married. Raffaele and Oliva shared in a union that has spanned over fifty-six years prior to Oliva’s passing on June 11, 2017. Mr. Ruggiero retired from Laborers Local 35, in Utica, after over thirty years of loyal service; he was a part of many well-known construction projects throughout the area while working with the union.
A kind and gentle man, Raffaele’s family and home were the center of his life. He was happiest when his family gathered to enjoy a meal or just each-others company. He loved his backyard and garden, where he spent many enjoyable hours, tending to his many plants and fruit trees, including his lemon and fig trees. He was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoying hunting and fishing. Raffaele felt very fortunate to spend his last birthday in Italy with his family.
Mr. Ruggiero is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Maria Francesca “Jackie” and Joe Camello, of Utica; a son and daughter-in-law, Joseph T. and Maria Anne Ruggiero, of Marcy; his grandchildren, Vanessa DeGristina and her companion, Hector Gonzalez, of Utica, Jaclyn and Dustin Dye, of Sauquoit, Francesca DeGristina and her companion, Luis Arzola, of Utica, and their father, Thomas DeGristina; twin grandsons, Joseph “Joey” Ruggiero and Anthony Ruggiero, of Marcy; a great-grandson, Luis Arzola, Jr.; a sister, Antoinette Costanzo; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Antonio and Giuseppina Ruggiero and Biagio and Antoinette Ruggiero, all of Italy. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and in-laws, Mariano and Elisa Durso, of Utica, Anthony Durso, of Rome and Raymond and Debbie Durso, of Utica. He was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law, Caterina and Domenico Coreno; a nephew, Tonino Coreno; and a brother-in-law, Domenico Costanzo. He was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Joseph Durso.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family will honor Raffaele’s life at a private time at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be offered.
Raffaele’s family wishes to thank Dr. Daniel Goodman, Dr. Brian Gaffney, the entire staff of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, as well as, the Acacia Village Home Care Staff ,for the care and compassion that was displayed to Raffaele and his family throughout this very difficult time. The family will long remember the kindness and compassion shown to Mr. Ruggiero by the Utica Fire Department.
To view Raffaele’s online memorial please go to: www.AdreanFuneralServices.com