Salem — Ruth Arlene (Herlihy) Tarascio, 91, of Salem, passed away February 26, 2013, at the Jesmond Nursing Home, Nahant, following a lengthy illness. Ruth was the loving wife of the late Thomas “Tom” S. Tarascio, whom she married on February 6, 1948.
Born in Peabody, April 14, 1921, she was the daughter of the late William and Margaret (Ellis) Herlihy. Ruth was a resident of Salem for most of her life and graduated from Salem High School, class of 1939.
As a young adult, Ruth had been employed by S.S. Kresge and later by the New England Telephone Company. After her marriage Ruth took on her greatest role, raising her five children and when her children went to school, so did she. Ruth worked at Salem High School’s cafeteria for many years and was known as the infamous “Lunch Lady.” She loved her job and loved the students.
Ruth walked all over Salem, Peabody and Danvers. She enjoyed reading, swimming and riding her bike to Forest River. She loved playing volleyball and was very active with Salem High School athletics. One of Ruth’s greatest joys was being presented with the lifetime Golden Pass. This gave her free admission to all Salem High School home games. This honor recognized her for her outstanding contributions to Salem’s athletic programs.
Ruth was a member of St. James Church. She enjoyed traveling to spend time with her family in Maine, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Alaska. Her happiest moments were spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Surviving her is a son, Michael Tarascio of Peabody; three daughters, Maureen “Moe” Roderick and her husband, Robert, of Summerfield, Fla., Ann Tarascio of Swampscott, Barbara Cunningham and her husband, Wayne, of Waldoboro, Maine; nine grandchildren, Alexandra Ryckman of Littleton, Colo., Lisa Watts of Englewood, Colo., Jennifer Lavoie Amnott of Derry, N.H., Allison Caron of Raymond, N.H., John Thomas and Caroline Altman of Peak, S.C., Sandra Prock, Danielle and Thomas Cunningham of Waldoboro, Maine; nine great-grandchildren, Jack and Ruth Ryckman, James, George and Thomas Watts, Brittney Amnott, Jacob and Molly Caron, Eliza Prock; and several nieces and nephews. Ruth was also the mother of the late John Tarascio.
ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral Mass will be held in St. James Church, Salem, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to meet at the church. Burial to follow in St. Mary's Cemetery. To leave a condolence, please visit www.gonetfuneralhome.com. Ruth requested in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her memory to Salem High School Girls’ Athletic Programs, 77 Willson St., Salem, MA 01970. Arrangements by the David H. Gonet Funeral Home, 22 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem.