Marie Ruzicka was born in Butte, Montana, on June 10, 1929, the only child of Albert and Olga Mondelli. She attended Butte High School and went on to earn a degree in Microbiology from Montana State College in 1951. In her final year she was chosen to publish a paper for the Montana Academy of Sciences. At college she was an active member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and always shared fond memories of the dances and other social events. She spent her summers working at Laird’s Lodge dude ranch at Lindbergh Lake near Missoula, Montana.
She landed an internship out of college at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington. There she earned her national certification as a Medical Technologist. In 1952, she moved to Richland, Washington, near the National Plutonium Facility, and began her career at Kadillac Hospital. In Richland, she met her future husband, George Ruzicka, in 1953. They regularly traveled the West and skied with an active group of friends. Marie and George married in Butte in 1954.
They moved to Livermore in 1958 when George took a position at Sandia National Labs. Marie earned her teaching credential from Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) in 1969 and taught in the Livermore area from 1969 to her retirement in 1990.
Marie’s love of music began in grade school when she took up playing the violin, and she played in her high school and college orchestras. In Livermore, she joined the American Association of University Women and became involved with the formation of the Livermore-Amador Symphony. She played in the inaugural season of the Symphony in 1963 and continued playing up to 1970. Marie was an active member of the Symphony Guild from the beginning and continued as a leading participant up to her recent death.
Always active in Livermore, she was a Cub Scout Den Mother for her boys and was a devoted member of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal church. She also enjoyed being a member of several bridge clubs, ski clubs, and a local women’s golf group. She had a passion for travel. With three boys in her house, outdoor adventure was expected. The family spent most summers in the Northwest on backpacking, camping, and canoe trips. Later she would enjoy traveling abroad and spent her retirement traveling with close friends.
Marie had a nice Zoom meeting with her three sons and their families on Christmas Day 2020. She quickly passed on December 27, while getting ready for her day. She is survived by her sons, George Ruzicka (Lori) of Louisville Kentucky, David Ruzicka (Christy) of Livermore, and Christopher (Laura) Ruzicka of Concord; grandchildren John, Ashley, Natalie, Stephanie, Edward, and August; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, George.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St Bartholomew’s Church, the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association (see our Donations page), or Our Lady of the Rockies in Butte, Montana.
Due to concerns of the pandemic, a memorial service has been postponed until it is safe to gather.