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Michael G. Ruso ’79 died on January 21, 2015, from heart failure at the age of 57. He was born on August 12, 1957 in Watsonville, CA. Mike attended Moreland Notre Dame, Watsonville High School class of 1975 and graduated with a BS in Finance from Santa Clara University in 1979.
He returned to Watsonville to start his career at Wells Fargo Bank and then managed Valley National/Household Bank. Many businesses and individuals benefited from his keen sense and personal approach to lending. When banking became more corporate he left and went to work in the auto industry. He was currently sales manager of Santa Cruz Nissan Dodge and VW. He also owned the Villager Bar with childhood friend, Eric Johnson.
Following in his father Fran’s footsteps, Mike was very involved in local baseball. Treasurer of Aggie’s baseball for many years, he ran the local baseball tournament each August. He was a member of BPOE Elks Lodge #1300, Knights of Columbus 958, California Water Fowl Association, Rod & Gun Club and Two and Change. In the true Croation manner, he loved to cook and enjoy a good meal. He often cooked meals and brought them to his colleagues at work. An avid sports fan, he loved the Giants and the 49ers. He was happiest when he was fishing or hunting and then sharing his catch with his many friends. He loved to travel to Tahoe and Las Vegas to play poker, or to bet on sporting events. He also enjoyed Cabo San Lucas & Hawaii and the casual lifestyle there. Mike was generous to a fault, even as a child. He was kind, hardworking, nonjudgmental and forgiving with a keen sense of humor with an uncanny way of making everyone feel safe and at ease. The nicknames that he coined for friends and family stuck and sometimes replaced their legal name.
He leaves his loving wife of 11 years, Saundra; son, Michael Gene II of Aptos; mother, Jolene Ruso; mother-in law, Lea Tedrowe and father-in law, David Bowersock; siblings, Kerry Stringari (Steve), Mark Ruso, Susan Rodriguez (Frank), Jennifer Scurich ’83 (Mike) and John Ruso ’86; nieces and nephews, Casey Luke and Zach Scurich, Josh and Nico Stringari, Matthew and Kellie Rodriguez, John and Samantha Ruso. He was predeceased by his father Francis J. Ruso and grandparents Gene and Joanne Bartlett and Ann Ruso.