Mario E. DeRuggiero, 80, mail carrier, animal lover

October 20, 2003

Mario E. DeRuggiero, a mail carrier in the Parkville and Hamilton areas for 35 years who used to throw pizza parties for his Fullerton neighborhood, died at Mariner Health of Forest Hill on Oct. 13 of complications from diabetes. He was 80.

Born in New York to Italian immigrants, Mr. DeRuggiero moved to Baltimore after serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

In 1950, Mr. DeRuggiero took a job with the U.S. Postal Service, distributing the mail until his retirement in 1985.

In 1952, he married Ruth L. Lewis, who died in 1987.

A longtime member of the Knights of Columbus, Mr. DeRuggiero was knighted by the organization in the early 1990s.

It was about that time that he married the former Ernestine Spittler.

His daughter, Sibyl DeRuggiero Tawfik of Baltimore, said he was a generous man who loved family and community.

FOR THE RECORD - In an obituary for Mario E. De Ruggiero in yesterday's editions, the listing of survivors was incomplete.
He is survived by his wife of nine years, the former Ernestine Spitler; his daughter, Sibyl De Ruggiero Tawfik of Baltimore; two stepsons, William T. Spitler of Columbia and Paul D. Spitler of Fallston; three stepdaughters, Donna B. Spitler of Baltimore, Linda M. Spitler of Fallston and Lisa D. Sherwood of North East; 16 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. The Sun regrets the error.

"He used to throw pizza parties for the community," she said, referring to the days when they lived in Fullerton in the 1960s. "He did like to cook. He used to make the pizzas himself with my mother."

Mrs. Tawfik's sister-in-law, Margaret Tawfik of Baltimore, said Mr. DeRuggiero had a way of making people feel comfortable.

"If you had problems, you could call him at 2 o'clock in the morning," Margaret Tawfik said. "He would listen for hours. I'm not his daughter, but he treated me as if I were."

Mr. DeRuggiero also had a love for animals that kept pets around him throughout his life.

"A couple of years ago, he said, `If anything happens to me, make sure you take care of Rocky,'" said Margaret Tawfik about Mr. DeRuggiero's dog. "He loved cats, too, but mostly dogs."

A private memorial service will be held Nov. 2.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of Baltimore.

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