Realtor, broker and owner of Northbrae Propeties in North Berkeley left us unexpectedly on November 27, 2013 after scheduled heart surgery at Stanford Medical Center. Anita was born August 10, 1943 in Montclair, New Jersey. She was predeceased by her parents Amadeo and Mary Ruffalo and her beloved brother, "Arnie" Ruffalo. She is survived by her husband Jim and sons Dylan, Jeremiah and Christian Thede.
Anita received a B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1965 earning a Silver Metal for Academic Excellence. She was very proud to have been included in the first class of women to attend this previously all- male university. After graduation, Anita went on to pursue graduate work at University of California, Berkeley and St. Mary's College studying Criminology and Education. She became a probation officer in Contra Costa County and also worked as Director of the Girl's Unit for Daytime Education.
Anita began her career in Real Estate in 1977. She became an owner and co-founder of Northbrae Properties in 1981. She was very active in the Real Estate community serving as President of the Berkeley Board of Realtors in 1992 and 2013. She received many distinguished awards during her career including being named BAR's Realtor of the year in 1994.
As well as her work in Real Estate, Anita had a strong involvement in community service. She was a founding member and President of the Board of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Vice President and on the Board of Directors for the Women's Daytime Drop-In Center. She was a member of the Board at St. Mary's and worked tirelessly to help that school grow for over 25 years. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Alta Bates Hospital, was an active member of the Berkeley Rotary Club, Contra Costa County Search and Rescue, Aurora Theatre and was a major contributor of her energy and resources to many other community and charitable projects.
Anita was extremely devoted and generous to family and friends. Her friends became her clients and most of her clients became her friends. She had an innate ability to guide her clients, whether buying or selling, to the right choice. She listened patiently while interjecting her professional knowledge and experience.
A love of her Italian heritage led Anita to connect with family still in Italy. She took numerous trips back to explore the country and spend time with relatives. She was able to receive dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Italy. Her seventieth, and last birthday, was spent in Lacedonia with family.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in her name to the Women's Daytime Drop-In Center or Saint Mary's College High School.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 15, 2013