Dr. Benjamin Patrick Brucoli

Dr. Benjamin Patrick Brucoli, brother of Durango Herald food writer Karen Brucoli Anesi, died of congestive heart failure Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, in Canfield, Ohio. He was 78.

Known as “Pat,” he was the oldest child born to Benjamin and Anne (Lutseck) Brucoli. He was born April 24, 1933, in Youngstown, Ohio.

A 1951 graduate of Chaney High School, he played football and was class president. He earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 1955 and went on to earn his medical degree there in 1959. He was a member of Nu Sigma Nu Fraternity, Beta Chapter.

While at OSU, he met and married Donna Lee Ankrom on Sept. 21, 1957, in Chillicothe, Ohio.

In the 1960s, Dr. Brucoli served in the Air Force as a flight medical officer and flight surgeon. Upon completion of a residency in pediatric medicine in New York, he returned to Ohio, where he was in private practice for nearly 30 years.

Dr. Brucoli was chief of pediatrics at Tod Babies and Children’s Hospital and served on the Executive Committee of the Youngstown Hospital Association. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

An advocate for excellence in public-school education, Dr. Brucoli served on the Canfield Local Schools Board of Education for 20 years, from 1973 to 1993. He was a clinical instructor in medicine at Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine.

As a devoted Ohio State Buckeye football fan, Dr. Brucoli was a life member of OSU’s Presidents Club. He was also a member of Canfield United Methodist Church.

Dr. Brucoli was a frequent visitor to Durango with his brother, Dr. John Brucoli.

Upon his retirement from active practice in 1993, he pursued a lifelong interest in horticulture.

“He spent the following decade planting and nurturing hundreds of trees, raising orchids in his greenhouse, perfecting tomatoes in his vegetable garden and tending to large aquariums of tropical fish,” his family said. “He stocked a small, man-made lake on his farm with enough bass and bluegill to satisfy his love for fishing and to teach his 11 grandchildren how to do the same.”

Dr. Brucoli is survived by his wife, of 54 years, Donna Brucoli; daughters Lynne Bellish of Canfield, Ohio, Laura Mills of Dublin, Ohio, and Lisa Leahy of Carmel, Ind.; son, Mark Brucoli, of Canfield; sisters Karen Brucoli Anesi of Durango and Judith Sonke of Pollock Pines, Calif.; 11 grandchildren, and three nephews.

A funeral and burial took place in Canfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley’s Hospice House, 9803 Sharrott Road, Poland, OH 44514.