Elizabeth Anne Rugato, a Wakefield High School graduate who ran her own bookkeeping business and lived in Wakefield for more than sixty years, passed away on July 28 after a long illness. She was 82.
Ms. Rugato, know to her friends and family as Betty, was born in Boston on Jun. 30, 1929 to parents Edgar & Myrtle (Lockhart) Eklund and spent her early years in Lynnfield. She then moved to Wakefield and attended Wakefield High School, where she graduated from in 1947.
Ms. Rugato married the late Michael J. Rugato right out of high school and had three children. The couple ended up divorcing a few years later.
"I don't know how she did it when I was a small child and she was raising three kids as a single mom," said her daughter, Gail Kolinsky of Wakefield.
Ms. Raguto made a living by starting an independent bookkeeping business in the town of Wakefield. She would handle bookkeeping for various businesses in town, providing them with monthly reports. She maintained her self-employment in town for decades - even when she started to lose her eyesight.
"She became legally blind, but she would still do bookkeeping after that," said Kolinsky. "She would get magnifiers and it was incredible how she kept going for at least a decade, even when she couldn't see very well. She was unbelievable, she really was."
Her daugher said her mother always put her family first, and enjoyed spending time together by taking camping trips and other family outings to Plum Island or Bar Harbor, ME.
"She spent a lot of her summers up there, and she loved to shop," said Kolinsky. "She had friends she'd go on vacation with down in Florida, and she visited Maine a lot."
Ms. Raguto is survived by her two daughters, Christine Graves of Tucson, AZ, and her late husband Steven Graves; Gail Kolinsky and her husband Stanley of Wakefield;and her son, David C. Rugato and his wife, Linda, of Lynnfield.
She is also survived by her 8 grandchildren, Alex, Andrew, Brian, Carl, Joshua, Kate, Laura and Nicholas and 5 great grandchildren, Ashley, Brendan, Charley, Ella and Tristan.
A visitation was held at the on August 13 followed a graveside service at in Wakefield.
[Editor's note: Some biographical information in this article was compiled by McDonald Funeral Home.]