Novello “Noel” E. Ruggiero, M.D.

WATERTOWN — Novello “Noel” E. Ruggiero, M.D., of Fort Pierce, Fla., and Watertown, died peacefully on Friday, October 30, at age 96, surrounded by family who cherished him. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Betty J. (Phillips) Ruggiero.

Novello was born on September 23, 1924, in Waterbury, a son of M. Alphonso Ruggiero and Giovannina (Iorio) Ruggiero. He grew up in Waterbury, graduating from Crosby High School. He graduated from the University of Vermont and its medical school, receiving his medical degree in 1952.

Dr. Ruggiero completed his residency in general surgery at Waterbury Hospital. He practiced medicine for years in the Waterbury area before entering a residency program in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Duke University. Upon completion of his residency, he practiced in Washington, D.C., southeastern Massachusetts and the Waterbury/Torrington area until his retirement.

Dr. Ruggiero served in the U.S. Air Force in France and Germany from 1955-57. At home, he served in many capacities in Watertown government, including Town Council member, acting town manager and director of hospice. He was most proud of his role as director of hospice in Watertown.

Dr. Ruggiero was devoted to family and leaves behind his three daughters, Noël (Ruggiero) Breg and her husband, Bill, of Watertown; Alisa Ruggiero and her husband, Tony Rinaldo, of Acton, Mass.; Kristin Ruggiero and her husband, Walter Dolan, of Sandy Hook; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Jonathan Morgan and wife and son, Meghan and Mason; Nicholas Morgan; Christina Morgan; Nathaniel Breg, and Alexander Breg.

He also leaves a sister, Anita Miller, of Waterbury, and sisters-in-law, Barbara (Joan) Ruggiero of Woodbridge, Rita Ruggiero of Naugatuck, Virginia Rogers of New Jersey, Judy Councilman (husband, Harold) of North Carolina and Nancy Fields (husband, Phillip) of Virginia, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his siblings, Geraldine, Joseph, John, Louis and Gloria Ruggiero.

Due to Covid-19, a memorial service will be held at a later date still to be determined.

For additional information or to leave an online message of condolence, visit

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