Diane Pizzi Ruggiero Raised her family in Mountainside, dedicated community and charity volunteer Diane Pizzi Ruggiero, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, went peacefully to heaven from her Mountainside home on Oct. 13, 2016. Diane enjoyed being with her extended family, friends, and loved ones, and we invite you to join the family at the viewing on Monday, Oct. 17, from 4 to 8 pm at Higgins and Bonner Funeral Home in Westfield, N.J., and at the Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Mountainside. Born in Summit, N.J., to Hon. Frank A. Pizzi and Mafalda Baracano Pizzi, Diane grew up in New Providence, N.J., and enjoyed summers at the shore, in Seaside Park, N.J. She attended Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, and continued her studies in Convent Station, N.J., where she earned her degree in elementary education from St. Elizabeth's. Upon graduating, she taught kindergarten for a year until she met the love of her life, the Honorable Robert A. Ruggiero. The two were married shortly after at St. Theresa's in Summit, and later became the proud parents of two sons, Peter A. Ruggiero and Charles F. Ruggiero. The family lived in Mountainside, where Diane enjoyed raising her sons with her husband, who was the police chief and then municipal court judge in the town. The family enjoyed vacationing in Seaside Park, as well as in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands throughout the years, where they have owned a condominium since 1967. Diane was involved in various charities and boards of directors throughout her life, including Oratory Preparatory School, Oak Knoll School, SAGE Eldercare, Cowpet Bay West Condominiums in St. Thomas, and Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Most recently, Diane volunteered her time as a board member at the Mountainside Historical Society and as a greeter at the Catholic Masses at Overlook Medical Center. Diane is survived by her brother, Peter Pizzi and his wife Marguerite, of New Providence, and her son, Peter Ruggiero, his wife, Anne, of Wildwood Crest, N.J., their daughters, Nicole and Gabrielle, in Miami, Fla., Cassandra (Ruggiero) Barstow in Burton, Ohio, and Caroline Ruggiero, in Wilkes Barre, Pa., as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other family and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert; her brother, Frank A. Pizzi, and her son, Charles F. Ruggiero.
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