Rita M. (Bartolomucci) Ruggiero of Naugatuck died on November 19, 2023 at the age of 102, surrounded by her family.
Rita (Restituta) was born in Isola di Liri in Provincia di Frosinone on September 24, 1921. She was the daughter of Antonia Bianchi and Pietro Bartolomucci. She immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1929. Rita grew up in Beacon Falls and Naugatuck, was educated in local schools, and attended Post Junior College of Business. She was proud to be a United States citizen, and she was proud to be a resident of Naugatuck.
Rita worked for UniRoyal, the United States Rubber Company, for 40 years. She worked in manufacturing for 10 years and was the secretary – treasurer of Union Local 45 of the United Rubber Workers Union for 30 years. Rita served the community in many capacities. She was the first woman member of the Naugatuck Board of Finance and served on the Naugatuck High School Building Committee. She was the chair of the Mothers’ March on Polio, served on the board of the Naugatuck Chapter of the American Red Cross and the United Way. Rita was also a long-standing member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Christopher Columbus Club, holding each of the organization’s offices including president. She was a member of the Naugatuck Historical Society and looked forward to reading the newsletters and attending meetings. She was a lifelong communicant of Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Naugatuck and was a member of the parish counsel.
Rita was devoted to her family and friends and leaves behind her four children: Francesca of Hershey, PA, John Jr. of Naugatuck, CT, Regina of Naugatuck, CT, and Peter of Belmont, MA. She also leaves many nieces, nephews, and godchildren, as well as cousins in Italy and Canada. She was predeceased by her husband of 43 years, John P. Ruggiero, Sr., her sisters Teresina and Barbara Bartolomucci, and her daughter, Maria F. Ruggiero.
The family would like to thank the staff of Waterbury Hospital for their kindness and support during her final days. The family would like to extend special thanks to Janice Murray, who was mom’s companion and friend during the past four years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 9:30am at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church Street, Naugatuck, CT 06770. Everybody attending is asked to please meet directly at church. Burial will follow in St. James cemetery, Cross Street, Naugatuck. Friends and family may call on Friday, November 24, 2023 from 4:00pm-7:00pm at Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Rita’s honor to Saint Francis of Assisi Church, the Naugatuck Historical Society, or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.