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Obituary: Thomas A. Rugino

January 2, 1959 – March 29, 2022

information provided by Smits Funeral Home

Dr. Thomas A. Rugino, age 63, new resident of Schererville, IN, formerly of Toms River, NJ, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, having fought a truly admirable battle with cancer. Preceded in death by his parents Edward Sr. and Elsie Rugino. In 1985, he married his best friend and classmate Tommasina Papa-Rugino, MD. He was truly the definition of a family man, leaving his legacy to be lived on by his son Dr. Alex Rugino, his daughter-in-law Kate Rugino, his daughter Dr. Angela Leffelman, his son-in-law Garrett Leffelman, and his daughter Dr. Marisa Rugino. He was a proud grandfather of Jake Thomas Rugino and Jack Joseph Leffelman. He will be sadly missed by his loyal dogs Snickers and Mocha.

With heart and compassion, he dedicated his career to improving the lives of children as a Pediatric Physiatrist and Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician at Children’s Specialized Hospital. He treated each and every patient, coworker, and person he encountered as family and spent his days bringing smiles out of everyone he met. He lived with kindness each day and enjoyed solving the problems of those around him in unique and creative ways. He enjoyed traveling with his family, making homemade pizza for his Italian wife and learning to craft homemade wine as a pairing. Tom left his mark upon the world, through his family, co-workers, patients, and many others, that will not be forgotten.

A visitation will be hosted on Monday, April 4, 2022, from 4 – 8 p.m. at the Silverton Memorial Funeral Home, 2482 Church Road, Toms River, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Luke Roman Catholic Church, 1674 Old Freehold Road, Toms River, NJ. A repast will follow after mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation. Under designation please specify “other” and include “In Memory of Dr. Thomas Rugino”

For further information, please contact 732-255-6363 or visit our online obituary and guestbook at

Smits Funeral Homes
Smits Funeral Homes
We are a family-owned business providing compassionate, professional end-of-life care. We handle all the details during a difficult time, so you can focus on the things that matter. We understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. Call our main office at 219-322-7300 to find out more about the customized services we can offer your family when the time comes.
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