COLONIE — With sorrow, the South Colonie Central School District community is mourning the loss of a member of the transportation department. Heidi Rukwid passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Dec. 31.
During this time, as the school community processes this news and copes with grief, measures have been put in place to support students and staff.
Rukwid, 56, was a longstanding bus driver for South Colonie starting her career in 2009. Having worked with students and staff in nearly every building, the district said she will always be remembered as a dedicated and hard-working employee with a warm smile and a good sense of humor.
“Heidi was one of five athletic drivers for the district and has probably driven most if not all of our athletic teams,” said Transportation Director Peter Tunny. “She was a dependable driver, always stepped up to help out in any way that she could, and took pride in interacting with the students she drove daily. It is a great loss for everyone who knew her.”
Rukwid, 56, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Dec. 31, while at home. Born in Albany, she was the daughter of the late Paul Sr. and Constance Rukwid. Heidi was a graduate of Bethlehem Central High School. She was a bus driver for the South Colonie School District, the Center for Disability Services and served as Transportation Specialist with the United States Air Force. Heidi was the first female volunteer firefighter with the Elsmere Fire Company where she was the property manager and quartermaster. Heidi also volunteered at the West Albany Fire Company. She loved animals and was mom to Bear, Pookie, Chief and Reggie. She was a pet sitter, a house painter and was extremely generous with her time and talents. Heidi was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers like her father and brother Paul, Jr. and also a fan of NASCAR.
She is survived by her brothers Paul (Toni Maki), Scott, Mark and Glenn; her niece Cedar; nephew Taschto; niece Wendy Maki; numerous cousins; her fiancé Veronica Forrett; and dear friends, Andrea, Barb and Melissa of the Thirsty Thursday Club.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with her family on Monday, Jan. 9, from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Norman E. Dascher Funeral Home, 490 Delaware Ave. Albany. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 85 Elm Ave, Delmar. The interment will be private in St. Matthew Lutheran Cemetery, Glenmont.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Disability Services, 314 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12208 or Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society, 3 Oakland Ave., Menands, NY 12204.