Joseph F. Ruggiero, Jr., 82, of Bristol

Posted 12/29/20

Joseph F. Ruggiero, Jr., 82, died on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. He was the husband of Angela C. (Venditti) Ruggiero for 56 years before his passing.

Born in Fall River, Mass., he was …

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Joseph F. Ruggiero, Jr., 82, of Bristol


Joseph F. Ruggiero, Jr., 82, died on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. He was the husband of Angela C. (Venditti) Ruggiero for 56 years before his passing.

Born in Fall River, Mass., he was the son of the late Nicoletta (Del Toro) and Joseph F. Ruggiero, Sr. and was a lifelong Bristolian. He was famous for giving all his friends nicknames and, in return, known to them as “Joe Rug.”

At 17 years of age, on Aug. 29th, 1955, Joseph enlisted in the Army National Guard of Rhode Island and as a Reserve of the United States Army. He served a total of 12 years. He loved the New England Patriots, was passionately devoted to the St. Louis Cardinals (favorite player, Stan “The Man” Musial), and always watched his “Friars” play basketball at the Providence Civic Center.

Joseph was highly educated and received a bachelor’s degree in Education from Providence College, a master’s in Education Administration from Rhode Island College, and additional advanced graduate studies from Brown University, University of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College. He was a teacher from (1961-1971) and a Principal from (1971-1990) with the Middletown Public School System. He served as an (EEOO) Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and president of both the Middletown Teacher’s Association and Middletown Principal’s Association.

As an avid supporter of education, Joseph involved himself with many associations that further promoted his mentorship, community service, and advocacy for children. He was a member of the Rhode Island Association of School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Knights of Columbus, Bristol School Committee, Little League Baseball Assistant Coach, President of Bristol High School Band Parent’s Association, Cub Scout Parent Volunteer, and chairman of the OLMC Century Club and charity drives.

As an educator and administrator, Joseph showed his passion, understanding, common concern, and care for all students. Many former students who “ran into” him later in life would tell Joseph the impact he made upon their young lives. He always adhered to the mantra “Kids Come First,” as indicated by his slogan when running for the Bristol / Warren Regional School Board.

Further noted, Joseph was also a professional business member of the Greater Providence Board of Realtors and the Building Advisory Committee. His influence and concerns for the greater good of fellow citizens were met by showing honor, integrity, and respect for others.

In addition to his loving wife Angela, Joseph also leaves behind his children: Joseph F. Ruggiero III (Jan) and Michael A. Ruggiero; his grandchildren, Anthony H. Ruggiero, Matthew Tyler Christopher, Alexis O. Ruggiero, and Nicholas A. Ruggiero. He is also survived by his brother, Richard A. Ruggiero, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Proudly serving as pallbearers: Anthony H. Ruggiero, M. Tyler Christopher, Nicholas A. Ruggiero, Michael Padovich, John P. Heelan, and Lenny Calandra Sr. Honorary pallbearers: Frank M. Ruggiero, Ralph Palma Jr., Christopher K. Bryant, and Alan B. Town.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, inside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State St., Bristol. The mass will be live-streamed on the “Henry Zinno” Facebook page for those who cannot attend in person. As an expression of sympathy, flowers are welcome at family homes. Due to health restrictions, please do not send flowers to the funeral home.

Memorial contributions can also be made, in his name, to either: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or to Rhode Island Kids Count, 645 New London Ave, Cranston, RI 02920.

For obituary, online condolences, and directions please visit

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