Carl Ruggero
John Allen


Carl Ruggero---a man of great goodness…generosity…and integrity. To be sure, he also proved himself to be courageous and tough and extra-ordinarily resilient…even prior to these last three months.
Many of us are no doubt acquainted with stories of his righteousness… If he sensed something not quite right in a scene, he did not let matters rest; he made waves. Carl had a strong tendency to utter what he felt a given situation was calling out to him to say…, no matter the potential fall-out upon himself---whether that meant being called on the carpet or worse at school…OR hitting the pavement hard during a fight on Broadway---in a valiant attempt at defense of an out-numbered stranger who was being ganged up on.
Though his courage to speak or act out could at times lead to his undoing…, such potential result was not going to stop him from speaking up or (on rare occasions) acting out. Though peaceful and non-violent by nature (which I should add, were not always easy to perceive by his tone), always he could be relied on to state his stance and continue to battle if such as that was underway. And if truly bad results of his words/actions came, he nonetheless proved amazingly resilient as a human. He somehow managed to get back on his feet and continue to go forward in life…Whatever strength and fiber it took, he seemingly had pre-developed the staying power needed---via his having already endured and/or overcome great challenges and difficulties in the past. Stated briefly, his indomitable courage in life and his awesome spirit up to the very end were much beyond impressive. YET, as it would’ve done to perhaps any human (that’s how truly ill he was these last 3 months), only did this most recent lengthy travail eventually sap him of the strength, fiber and function that he would need to survive and go on.
I would be remiss to not at least briefly mention his unique generosity, which characteristic of him shall be legendary, if it not already be so---as it may. Without lengthy explanation, what comes quickly to mind is the several hundred dollar “scholarship” that he granted some great young kid from Irvington H.S., out of his own personal funds which at most moments in recent years, and at that moment in particular, were little above nil in total amount. You might say, nobody would do that. Well, almost nobody would, but we all know somebody who did…and he surely rests at peace with the Lord right now. If that tale just told does not sufficiently impress…to ensure his generosity be worthy of legendary status…those who experienced or know of his fully paying for a recent “week at the shore”, an outing to which several of his friends were invited, surely will remember…and remind …of Carl’s unique goodness. And once again, he was with very very limited funds to be making such a gesture. However, and this does not at all diminish the noble aspect in his having done so---in fact it embellishes what he did---he no doubt knew that his days were likely running out---but he wanted to provide one more reason to not forget him nor the good things that he did…and we shall not.
Wrapping matters up here,.., some of us live to old age and fail to significantly achieve…some of us live to old age and fail to truly enjoy…some of us live to old age and fail to wholesomely contribute to the lives of others…None of that describes Carl Ruggero. 1st, he lived to an age not old…2nd, he significantly achieved if just we think of him as having become a first-rate athletic trainer…3rd, he truly enjoyed life---as indicated by his elation when something good happened in his world (e.g. the arrival of “Max” his pet dog) or when something good happened in the world of a friend, or even a stranger…Lastly, he surely and wholesomely contributed to the lives of others---by his caring ways and stellar deeds as a professional and as a person.
A good and decent man was he---loyal and generous and with great integrity.
Carl, God bless you with peace eternal, for all the good things you did and for the courage, generosity and tufffness you showed. Our prayers are with you still.