Lois Ruggiero


Lois E. Ruggiero, 85, formerly of Delhi, passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. 

She was born in Cobleskill on Jan. 24, 1936 to Herschel and Lena (Drumm) Shafer. 

A graduate of Becker College and Temple University, Lois had careers as a legal secretary in Philadelphia and later as a circulation manager in the publishing industry. She believed her greatest accomplishment was being a mother of eight children. She took joy in coaching Little League, leading a Cub Scout troop, teaching religious education and welcoming Fresh Air children in the summers.

Having a heart for the less fortunate, Lois was a founder of The Open Door in 1967, a non-profit organization providing second-hand clothing for the needy in Delaware County. A faithful Catholic for her adult life, she was active in the parishes she attended, participated in Perpetual Adoration devotion, and was a strong Right to Life advocate.

She is survived by her eight children: Michele (Kent) Lewis, Gail (John) Wessells, Teresa (William) Sears; Francis (Marcy) Ruggiero; Michael Ruggiero, Timothy Ruggiero, John (Amy) Ruggiero, Gerald Ruggiero and their father, Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. 

Also surviving are her 16 grandchildren: Krista (Lewis) Satyanathan; Timothy Lewis; Daniele Wessells; Rachel (Wessells) Steen; David Wessells; Katherine Sears, Joseph Sears, Gregory Sears, Nadia Sears; Chiara Ruggiero, Luke Ruggiero, Nicolette Ruggiero; Kailey Ruggiero, Chloe Ruggiero; Caitlyn Ruggiero, Daniel Ruggiero; two great grandchildren, Miriam and Simon Satyanathan; nephew, Gary Shafer, and niece, Julie (Shafer) Rainville. 

She was predeceased by her parents; a brother, Gordon C. Shafer; sister-in-law, Lois Shafer; and grandson, John Samuel Wessells III.

Lois will be remembered by friends and family for her youthful spirit, generosity toward the needy, love of children and devotion to her faith.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Historic Saint Mary’s Church in Albany at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 19 with burial in Cobleskill Cemetery thereafter.

The family wishes to thank Helios Care,Oneonta, for the exceptional care and support they provided in their mother’s final months.