Dunnellon- Dr. Lydia Mallavo Ruiz, beloved mother and wife, passed into the glory of heaven on May 18, 2019 in Ocala, Florida at the age of 84. Lydia was born on March 27, 1935 in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Philippines. She earned a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from the De Ocampo Memorial School, College of Dentistry in 1955. In 1957, she came to the United States to pursue a Guggenheim Fellowship in Clinical Pedodontics at the Murray and Leonie Guggenheim Dental Clinic in New York City. She subsequently served for many years as a research assistant at Sloan Kettering Institute of Cancer and at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. While maintaining pride in her academic accomplishments, Lydia’s greatest joy in life was her family. She met her husband, Dr. Restituto S. Ruiz, a co-recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship on the flight to the United States - having been set-up by her travel agent. Together, they raised a beautiful family of five in Oradell, NJ. Education was of utmost importance, and she and Restituto were extremely proud of their five children: Restituto, Jr, Donna, Renard, Reggie, and Rex, who all became physicians. In later years, Lydia drew great joy from spending time with her three grandchildren Resty, Rafael, and Gabriel Ruiz. Lydia and Restituto were active parishioners of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Oradell, NJ for thirty-nine years. Upon retiring to Florida in 1999, they joined St. John the Baptist Parish in Dunnellon, FL. Lydia will be remembered by her family as a loving, compassionate, generous, and hardworking wife, mother, and grandmother. Her generosity and kindness will also be remembered by the dozens of family members and friends from the Philippines whom she and Restituto sponsored for citizenship in the US. All who knew her will remember her passion for fashion and her love for her bassett hounds.
Lydia was predeceased by her husband, Restituto Ruiz, parents Francisco and Maura Mallavo, and siblings Adrian, Fe, and Milagros. She is survived by her siblings Francisco, Edarlina, Edicio, and Raymundo Mallavo, and children Restituto Ruiz, Jr., MD and wife Darlene, Donna Ruiz-Minotto, MD and husband Paul, Renard Ruiz, MD and wife Grace, and Rex Ruiz, MD and wife Rebecca.
A visitation will be held on Monday, May 20, 2019 from 6-8:00 pm at Roberts Funeral Home, 19939 E. Pennsylvania Ave, Dunnellon, Florida with a wake vigil starting at 7PM. Funeral services will be held later in the week at Volk Leber Funeral Home, 268 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, New Jersey. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Oradell, NJ with entombment to follow at the Garden of Memories, Washington Township, NJ.
Donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org/donate) or Legacy House, 9505 SW 110th Street Ocala, FL (www.hospiceofmarion.com) in lieu of flowers.
To plant a tree in memory of Lydia Ruiz, please visit our tribute store.