ORLANDO ‘RUGG’ RUGGIERO
January 20, 1919 & February 25, 2007
A long and wonderful journey came to an end after a sudden illness unexpectedly cut short a life always ready for the next adventure. Born in Chester Hill, Pennsylvania Orlando was the youngest brother of a family that proudly sent their children off in service of their country. He will be missed.
A career military officer, Orlando was a distinguished and decorated leader who not only took great care of his men but also earned a bronze star, two purple hearts, and two Silver Stars in twenty years of service that spanned WWII, Europe, Japan and Korea. His highly decorated career ended as a Major in the US Army. Upon the request of his wife, “Two wars are enough for a man with four children, we’re going to Tacoma”. His next adventure was completing his BA at The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma in 1964.
There followed a successful career in commercial real estate and property management while raising four children in University Place, Washington. Well known in Tacoma business circles, Orlando was a friend to whomever he met in both business and life. He was a member of Tacoma Athletic Commission, Tacoma Elks, Officers Club, and founding member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Preceded in death by his dearly beloved wife of 56 years Barbara, he is survived by sons Orlando, Jr. (Sharon) of Eugene, Oregon and Steve (Cindy) of Bainbridge Island, Washington and daughters Cheryl Ann (Fred) Johnson of Lake Stevens, Washington and Cyndi (Curt) Wikstrom of Fox Island, Washington. He is also survived by Sisters Anna, Orlando’s twin sister Connie, and Gerry of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, seven grand children and six great grand children, numerous nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Mass and reception will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 28 at St. Charles Borromeo, 7112 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA with a graveside service with full military honors by US Army to follow at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations can be directed to the American Heart Association, 708 Broadway suite 330, Tacoma, WA 98402. Arrangements by Edwards Memorial Center 253-566-1008. Please sign the online memorial at www.edwardsmemorial.com