Marie Dorothy (Ruscio) Nuce

September 19, 1927 ~ February 8, 2021 (age 93)


If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.

Survived by her daughter Donna (Nuce) Geron (Ed), Brother Donald Ruscio (Melanie), Sister Helen (Ruscio) Horvat (Donald), Son-in-law Carl Lilly and Daughter-in-law Patricia (Groves) Nuce, six grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Proceeded in death by her parents Louise (Markano) and Dominic Ruscio, Brother Anthony Ruscio, Husband Donald W. Nuce, Daughter Louise (Nuce) Lilly and Son Michael Nuce.

Marie grew up in North Denver, Colorado in an area dubbed “Little Italy.” After her father Dominic lost his job during the Great Depression, they lived with her Grandparents Katherine and Charles Markano until Dominic was able to obtain employment again. She had fond memories of her Grandmother cooking Italian food in her old-fashioned kitchen with a wood burning stove. They had a big garden and chickens, so they did not starve but money was a scarce resource. While they were living with her Grandparents her baby brother Anthony was born. He became extremely sick and died at the age of 5 months from a throat infection. The family had to borrow money to bury the baby. It was an incredibly sad time for the family. Her brother Donald was born in 1934 and her sister Helen in 1942.

Dominic obtained work again at the Rio Grande Railroad and the family moved to a house on West 39th Avenue. Her mother Louise was a talented cook and seamstress (she could sew anything). Her father Dominic was an upholsterer for the Railroad. He also was a musician and played the trumpet in a small band on weekends. The family attended the local Catholic Church (St. Catherine of Sienna) where Marie received her sacraments.

Marie excelled in school and graduated with honors from Holy Family. She then attended college at Denver University working towards a degree in Science. She worked in an office at the phone company in downtown Denver to help pay for her college tuition. While attending Denver University she met a handsome and outgoing man named Donald Nuce. She said she fell for him “like a ton of bricks” but did not think he would notice her (she was very shy). But he did notice her, and they started dating. College life provided many opportunities for dates with concerts and dances. They eventually agreed to get married and on December 26, 1949 at St. Catherine of Sienna church they were married.

Donna was born in 1952, Michael in 1954 and Louise in 1956. Three children kept her remarkably busy. The family took trips to the mountains for picnics, had fun times in the cabin at Alma and took trips throughout the state to view historical sites. Whenever Don would find a dirt road to drive on Marie would get upset with him for the bumpy ride. It was an ongoing family joke that Don could find a dirt road in the middle of the city just to upset Marie. Music was important in the family. Don would sing, Donna would play the piano, Michael and Louise would sing and Grandpa Ruscio would play the trumpet. Mom loved to hear music. She said her favorite song was “Some Enchanted Evening” from the musical South Pacific.

After the children grew up and went out on their own, Marie took up quilting as a hobby and enjoyed quilting bees with her daughter Louise and niece Deanine. She loved to read and even when her eyesight was going used a Kindle with large type to be able to read books. Don and Marie traveled extensively throughout the US after Don retired and even took some trips to Mexico. They actively participated in the Young at Heart ministry at Spirit of Christ Catholic Church. Marie was not really a big fan of dogs until they adopted a Yorkie. She fondly remembers the three Yorkies they had in their later years, Dee dog, Blondie (the princess) and Nemo (the best dog ever according to her). Even with her dementia at the end of her life, talking about doggies always got her to laugh.

When writing about her children Marie said, “They were nothing like me. They are outgoing like their father and enjoy being with people. They have done well with the lives in spite of many obstacles.” She said her greatest challenge of motherhood was “living up to being a mother of 3 such dynamic people.” Family was most important to her. She will be missed!

A private service will be held on Tuesday, March 2nd, at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community. To attend the service over livestream, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/rrqhuQQ5Jsk. A private committal service will take place at Fort Logan National Cemetery the following day, Wednesday, March 3rd, at 9:30am. To attend the committal service over livestream, please click on the following link: https://bxcited.com/marienuce/


March 3, 2021

9:30 AM
Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 S. Sheridan Blvd.
Denver, CO 80236

Video is available for this event

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