Ruth Dalia Attanasio, affectionately known as “Cuchy” to many, passed away peacefully on April 6, 2020, at The Kensington Assisted Living and Memory Care Residence in Falls Church, Virginia. She was 83 years old. Her death from Alzheimer’s disease was complicated by Covid-19.
Born New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1936, in Ensenada, Guanica, Puerto Rico to Altagracia Ruiz and Juan Negroni, Ruth grew up in Puerto Rico, Hell’s Kitchen and Brooklyn. Ruth eventually married Joseph V. Attanasio (“Peppino”), (b.1920, d.1985)and settled in the Inwood neighborhood of northern Manhattan.
Ruth worked as a switchboard operator at AT&T until motherhood and then enjoyed a long career behind the counter of Isham Park Pharmacy and then Rite Aid Pharmacy, both on Broadway in Inwood.
Ruth brought compassion and humor to the hundreds of people she called “my customers”, informing them about their medicines and checking on their quality of life.
Ruth was a huge fan of Hollywood glamour like Rita Hayworth and Doris Day. She passed on her love of Shirley Temple movies to her daughters and grandchildren. It was a special event for Ruth to take her grandchildren to their first movie, or another great love: the Broadway musical. Ruth had a beautiful voice and sang many songs from her childhood to her children and grandchildren, as well.
Ruth was a TV aficionado with her favorites being Ellen DeGeneres, ABC soap operas, and the Property Brothers (whom she insisted she met one time). All things Puerto Rico and rooting for the New York Mets was a constant pastime. Over the years, Ruth was the caregiver for many young children with an instant attraction to any baby she could hold and play with. Additionally, Ruth was a bedside companion to many ailing family members and elderly acquaintances. She was a great advocate for fairness in housing or education and translated for many Hispanic families when needed. Ruth loved her dog, Dutchess, and communed with every dog she met thereafter.
Ruth was also devoted to her mother, Altita, who passed away in 2006. Ruth also survived her 3 immediate sisters, Aura Emma Alfieri, Maria Teresa Feliciano Frye and Nydia Esther Williams, who passed away before her.
Ruth, beloved mother and grandmother, is survived by her children, Alberto Attanasio, Grace “Gigi” Shickler and Adrianne Hamilton, their spouses, Scott J. Shickler and Jeffrey S. Hamilton, and their children, (in order of age), Shalmai Drake Hollingshead, Cedar Attanasio, Jaxson Shickler, Joseph Hamilton, Dalia Hamilton, Hayden Shickler and Allyson Hamilton.
Ruth will be interred alongside her husband and mother at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, Bronx, New York. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to honor Ruth, please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Online memorial is available at ruth-dalia-attanasio.forevermissed.com