Mr. Frank J. Ruggiero, age 88, longtime Gloversville resident, died peacefully Sunday morning, May 21, 2017, at the Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs.
Frank was born March 25, 1929, in Gloversville, the son of Jacob and Antoinette Catania Ruggiero. He was a graduate of Gloversville High School and Albany Business College, and he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In his early work years, he connected people with telephones as a lineman for the General Telephone Company in the North Creek area, and continued with the company in computers at GTE Data Services for years after that. For most of his career, Frank also worked as a tax preparer and was an H&R Block instructor as well. On the side, he worked as a representative for local leather companies and, in the early 1980s, lived in California while working to establish Liberty Leather West.
But Frank’s favorite job, and what he was probably best known for, was being the executive director for the Veterans Service Agency for both Fulton and Hamilton counties. Starting in 1988, he worked to provide benefits and fill the needs of hundreds of local clients and families who served our country in the military. For him, that was an important job. He retired from the VA at age 86.
For Frank, the two pillars of life were family and community. Along with his wife Carmella, he was deeply proud of his two children and cherished his grandchildren, and he always enjoyed the many members of his extended family. In the community, when he was not eating breakfast at the Palace Diner, buying flowers for his wife at Peck’s, or frequenting Leonzo’s, he was delivering Meals on Wheels or supporting the public library and the YMCA. Over the years, Frank served an elected term as an alderman and as a member of numerous boards and organizations, including the Fulton County Veterans Council, Catholic War Vets, Workforce Development Board, the Knights of Columbus, and the Long Term Care Council.
In his leisure time, Frank enjoyed sports, especially Buffalo Bills football, Yankees baseball, and tennis. He liked watching the races at Saratoga (and always bet on number 5.). But skiing was his favorite sport, and he passed along that passion to his children, nieces, and nephews. He skied till he was 85 years old, most often at “the best ski area in the world,” Royal Mountain.
Frank is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carmella Tramontano Ruggiero; two children, Joanne R. Priestley of Stowe, VT, and Joseph F. Ruggiero of Camarillo, CA; a sister, Marguerite Goodemote of Johnstown; two grandchildren, Adele Priestley and Dylan Priestley; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and a sister, Eleanor King.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 16, at Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home, 51 Fremont St., Gloversville, where a memorial service will follow at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Ruggiero’s honor to the Gloversville Public Library, 58 E. Fulton St, Gloversville, NY 12078; or to the Fulton County YMCA, 213 Harrison St., Johnstown, NY 12095.