The death of Joe Ruggiero Sr. at 77 is a loss for the neighborhood. He was a special kind of man. He could walk into a room with dignitaries, politicians and wealthy and powerful individuals and he would be the one that everyone would remember. He had a great personality. He made people feel very special. He had the ability to listen without speaking. Everyone was an equal in his eyes and when in his presence. He was also a man of tremendous faith, having a deep and unambiguous belief in Roman Catholicism.
He grew up in the first section of East Boston – Cottage, Maverick, Frankfurt and Gove Streets, when East Boston was a far different place than it is today. He made strong friendships at an early age that lasted a lifetime. Mr. Ruggiero, Sr. spent a lifetime of being in business in East Boston, he was never seen to be out of sorts or untoward to people. And he was responsible for putting his son Joseph in the family business.
He was loyal. He was devoted. He was generous to his family and friends. And he will be missed.