Obituary: Virginia Ruggeiro, longtime Atherton residentServices are set for Tuesday, April 24, for Virginia Lee Ruggeiro, a 33-year Atherton resident and familiar presence at council meetings and community events. Ms. Ruggeiro died April 15 at home at the age of 81.
The funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park.
A San Francisco native, Virginia was the third of five children born to Robert and Mary Griffin. She attended Lowell High School and the City College of San Francisco, and worked in retail at the H. Leibes and G.E.T.S. stores.
She and her husband, John Ruggeiro, were married for 59 years. She was "an inspirational advocate" for the town of Atherton, her family said, and was a member of the Atherton Dames, a volunteer group of women focused on fundraising and advocating for Holbrook-Palmer Park.
John Ruggeiro said his wife was a 24-year cancer survivor who hadn't spent a day in the hospital since the time she was treated for that illness. But in mid-March, she started "slowing down a bit," although she still attended community events and town meetings.
Late last month, she was diagnosed with another form of cancer, and had begun receiving hospice care the day before she died.
Mr. Ruggeiro said his wife attended the last meeting of the town's Transportation Committee, on which he serves. She was an advocate for slowing down traffic on their street and the surrounding area "to protect pedestrians and the people walking with strollers," and was researching a type of traffic-calming device for the town at the time of her death, he said. "I'm going to follow up with it," he added.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children Paul, Nancy Daum, and John; their spouses; and six grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her grandson Joshua Ruggeiro.
A reception will be held after the morning service at a location to be announced at the church.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society.