Ruffo, Anthony "Tony" C.
Retired Sheriff of Broome County
Binghamton: Anthony "Tony" Ruffo, 89, born August 17, 1924 in Binghamton, NY, passed away Monday, January 20, 2014. He was predeceased by his parents, Sam and Marion Ruffo; his loving wife, Joan (Simeck) Ruffo; brothers, Andrew, Frank, and Tom Ruffo; brother-in-law, William Lasky; sister and brother-in-law, Lena (Raymond "Bud") Simeck; and two sons-in-law, Clifford Wright and David Matthews. He is survived by his children, Linda Wright (Harry) Taylor, Colorado Springs, CO, Dr. Sam (Sandra) Ruffo of Conklin, Nancy (Carmen) DiRienzo of Conklin, Christine Matthews of Town of Binghamton, and Antionette (David) Mikol of Binghamton; 15 grandchildren, Dr. Wendy Wright (Brandon) Seigler, Dr. Anthony (Taylor) Wright, Kelly Wright, Nicole (Todd) Kariam, Anthony (Kristina) Ruffo, Dr. Eric (Jamie) Ruffo, Andrew (Nicole) Ruffo, Johanna (Tom) Burkhardt, Christopher (Jamie Canfield) DiRienzo, Stacey (Dusty) Root, Kimberly (Michelangelo) Belnome, Nicholas DiRienzo, David (Erin) Matthews, Lisa (Mike) Knewasser, Jennifer Mikol; and 29 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Charlene Lasky, Edith Ruffo, Esther Ruffo, Jeanne Ruffo; brothers and sisters-in-law, James (Josie) Simeck, and Joseph (Anita) Simeck; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was a member of the Parish of Sts. John and Andrew RC Church, Binghamton. Tony graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman serving in both the European and Pacific Theaters during WWII. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star for Valor, and received a Battle Field Commission at the Battle of the Bulge by General George S. Patton, an honor which was forever a great source of pride to him. After his discharge from active military service, he continued his military career as a member of the New York Army National Guard and was Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, retiring with the rank of Colonel. Upon his return home after the war, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Simeck, living and raising five children together on Binghamton's West Side. He joined the Binghamton City Police Dept. and began his career as a motorcycle policeman. He held numerous positions as a Binghamton City police officer, including those in the Detective and Juvenile Division and in Community Relations and Training, and served many years as the Chairman of the yearly Police Toys for Tots Campaign. He served as Chairman of the Binghamton Police Benevolent Association and was President of the Binghamton Police Athletic League Day Camp serving local youth in the community. Upon retiring from the Binghamton Police Department after 30 years of service, he was elected Sheriff of Broome County in 1980, serving 10 years in that position. Among the many achievements he accomplished while Sheriff was advocating for and overseeing the construction of the Dormitory Style Jail to ease severe inmate overcrowding. In 1990, he retired from a long and accomplished career in law enforcement. For those who knew Tony, he will long be remembered as a man of faith and a committed family who was very proud of his children and grandchildren. His Italian heritage became the cornerstone of family life and activities. His Italian roots and Joan's Slovak background meant there was always something delectable being cooked or served in the family kitchen. Whether gathered together for weekly pasta dinners on Thursdays at his parents' home held for the entire Ruffo clan where attendees were "treated" to loud and sometimes spirited "who can talk louder" debates or partaking in celebrations of holidays, births, weddings, or any other special event which called for a celebration, Tony was always front and center for the joyous occasions. He worked tirelessly his entire life to provide for his wife Joan and his family and provided a wonderful example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. His career in not only the military but in law enforcement defined who Tony was professionally. He will be missed but never forgotten. A special thanks to Jennifer Hopkins RN, his caregiver, friend, and special "angel" on earth and to all the caregivers at Hopkins House who provided Tony with a loving home and nurturing environment his last years of life. For them, his family will always be forever grateful. A Funeral Mass will be offered at the Church of Saints John and Andrew, Vestal Avenue, Binghamton, Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City. The family will receive friends at the J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home, 141 Main St., Binghamton, Friday from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in memory of Tony may be made to the Binghamton Police Athletic League, 38 Hawley St., Binghamton, NY 13901 or Hopkins House, 12 Montague St., Binghamton, NY 13901.
J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home
141 Main St. Binghamton, NY 13905
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, 2014