An Initiative of the Fayette County Cultural Trust
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PVT Ernest C. Ruggieri
Battle of the Bulge
December 16, 1942 - January 03, 1946
Ernest C. Ruggieri, 83, of Connellsville, passed away Monday,
Aug. 1, 2005, in Excela Health Westmoreland Regional Hospital,
Greensburg. He was born Sept. 18, 1921, in Connellsville, a son of the
late Matteo and Rose Corrado Ruggieri. He was a member of St. Rita Roman
Catholic Church. Ernie graduated from Connellsville High School with
the Class of 1939. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during
World War II. Ernie then returned to the States and opened his own dance
studio. He started to dance and perform at the age of 10. Ernie taught
tap, ballet, jazz, ballroom dancing and baton lessons throughout his
50-year career. He also taught dancing lessons throughout Greensburg,
Latrobe, Brownsville, Monessen and California, Pa. Ernie also performed
at various nightclubs throughout his career. He would travel to New York
City and Las Vegas, which he considered his second home. Throughout his
extensive traveling he had many opportunities to meet other popular
entertainers, movie stars and renowned band leaders, such as Debbie
Reynolds, Willie Nelson, Marty Allen, Sylvester Stallone, Harry James
and many more. Ernie always found time to voluntarily entertain veterans
at the Pittsburgh veterans hospitals, Mt. St. Macrina, Yogi Bear
Campgrounds, Linden Hall and many personal care homes. He was a member
of the Dance Education of America Performers. Ernie was also a member of
American Legion Post 301 of Connellsville. Ernie is survived by his
wife, Pearl Trinder Ruggieri, of Connellsville; a sister, Diletta
Orlando, of Vanderbilt; two nieces, Pam Lowe and Dennis, of Vanderbilt,
and their son, Patrick Lowe, and Debbie Stock and her husband, Howard,
of Connellsville, and their daughter, Alexis Stock; and a sister-in-law,
Anna A. Trinder Blystone, of Rices Landing. In addition to his parents,
Ernie was predeceased by a brother, Joseph Ruggieri; a sister,
Josephine Marie Bonadio; and brother-in-law, Joseph Bonadio. Friends
will be received from 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the VITO C. MARTUCCI FUNERAL HOME, 123 S. First St., West Side, Connellsville. A blessing service will be at 9:45 a.m. Friday
in the funeral home, followed by a burial Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Rita
Roman Catholic Church with the Rev. Frank Lesniowski as celebrant.
Interment will follow in St. Rita Cemetery. Military services will be
held at graveside by members of American Legion Post 301, VFW Post 21
and Trotter Post 762.
An Only Son of the 381st The Life of Andy Piter, Jr. As a member of the 381st Bomb Group in World War II, Andy served his country proudly. However, 15 days before the war ended in Europe, tragedy struck the 381st as they lost 31 men on the Isle of Man and Andy was one of them. April 23rd, 1945 - a day that will live forever in the hearts of the Men of the 381st.
To view this book on Amazon please click on this photo or link below.
Donald J. Madar - an avid family history buff who has pursued genealogy and has visited the five Slovak villages of his roots. Special interest in his great-uncle, Andy Piter, Jr., who was a member of the 381st Bomb Group and who lost his life in a B17G crash on the Isle of Man 15 days before World War II ended in Europe. Donald has researched his uncle for the last 13 years and now brings Andy's story back to life.
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