In Memoriam: John S. Ruggiero, Dean 1961-71

RuggieroThe following is the obituary for John S. Ruggiero, Ph.D., the third Dean of the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy (1961-71). Dean Ruggiero led the school during a period in which the integration of clinical pharmacy and elective options into the five-year B.S. in Pharmacy curriculum and the relocation of the pharmacy school from Canevin Hall to the fourth floor of the new campus science building Mellon Hall for improved classroom, faculty and research facilities, were critical developments.

Dr. John S. Ruggiero departed this life for his eternal home on November 25, 2019. Born April 2, 1931 in Saranac Lake, NY to Joseph and Santa Ruggiero. Living in his memory are his loving wife of 66 years, Marguerite, his children, Jude Ruggiero, John J. Ruggiero, Mary Buhl (Jay) and Anthony L. Ruggiero (Dawne) and four grandchildren, Mary Catherine McAllister (Ian), Benjamin Buhl (Anna), Grace and John Ruggiero.

He attended Boys High School in Brooklyn, NY, during his time there he played on the baseball team which led to his lifelong love of the sport. He continued to play through undergraduate and graduate school on intramural teams. He was an Atlanta Braves fan and enjoyed watching every baseball game they played. Although he traveled to many countries, one of his greatest joys was visiting Cooperstown, NY and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

While vacationing in the Catskill Mountains at age 15, he met and fell in love with Marguerite Bentivegna,14; which was the beginning of their true love story. They were married on July 4, 1953 and continued to celebrate their love for 66 years.

He had a stellar academic and professional career attending St. Johns University, Bronx, New York (BS), Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (MS) and University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (PhD) all in pharmacy. At age 29, he became the youngest Dean of the Pharmacy School at Duquesne University. Later he moved to the Washington DC area where he became Assistant Vice President of Pharmaceutical Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. Eventually he returned to academics as the Dean of the Pharmacy School at MCV. He received numerous awards and accolades during his career, including Who's Who in American Men of Science, Leaders in Education, Distinguished Alumnus and Centennial Club Member at Duquesne University, and Outstanding Young Men in America, to name a few.

Known to many as Dean, to his family he was a loving husband, wonderful father and the best Pop Pop to his grandchildren. He was their biggest cheerleader at sporting events and a guiding hand in all of their achievements. Family was the light of his life; an annual weekend trip to Wintergreen with the entire family created truly special memories.

After retirement, he and his wife spent many happy years at their second home in Naples, FL. During that time he enjoyed many golf outings and was able to complete an item on his bucket list: A-Hole-In-One.

A devout Catholic, he served as an Eucharistic Minister and cherished his faith. His was a life well lived as a true believer of Christ.

Bennett Funeral Homes

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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