Ruth G. Coppola
Ruth G. Coppola

Ruth G. Coppola of Franklin Lakes, formerly of Montclair, died on Oct. 5, 2019, three weeks prior to her 100th birthday. Mrs. Coppola was the second of two children born to parents Eugenia and Florio Graglia of Paterson, on Nov. 1, 1919. 

She graduated Elementary School #21 in 1933 and graduated from Eastside High School in 1937. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1940earning a registered nurse’s degree. She began her career as an operating room nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson. 

She was accompanied by her husband Pellegrino William Coppola to Washington, D.C. from 1947-1951 while he attended Georgetown University Medical School. She worked as a private duty nurse and operating room nurse in Washington.

They returned to Montclair in 1951. She began her second career as a school nurse with the Bloomfield school system in 1968.

Mrs. Coppola earned her bachelors of arts degree from Jersey City State Teachers College in 1968, and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Montclair State University in 1973.

She continued to work for the Bloomfield School System for 33 years, retiring in 2001 at the age of 82. Mrs. Coppola worked at three elementary schools in Bloomfield; Oakview, Watsessing, and Brookdale schools before moving to Bloomfield High School where she eventually retired. 

She also participated in and was a group winner early on in the New Jersey lottery, being one of six in her school to co-purchase a winning lottery ticket.

She was predeceased by her husband Pellegrino William of 63 years, and her brother Edwin Graglia. 

Mrs. Coppola is survived by her son Peter William and his wife Vanessa Ann, two granddaughters Alexa Rae and Andrea Mary, and a step-granddaughter Chelsea Marie Martin. 

A viewing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home 76 Park St., Montclair. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, Oct. 11 beginning at the Hugh Moriarty Funeral Home at 9 a.m. and proceeding to St. Cassian Roman Catholic Church, 187 Bellevue Ave. Montclair at 10 a.m. Internment will follow at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Totowa.

Following the services, lunch will be held to celebrate Ruth Coppola’s life on Friday at 1 p.m. at Nicola’s Restaurant, 650 Union Blvd. Totowa NJ 07512. All friends and family are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Montclair Public Library 50 South Fullerton Ave,. Montclair NJ 07042 and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at alzfdn.org or mail to 322 8th Ave. 7th Fl, New York, NY 10001.