Joseph Mary Ruggier

July 26, 1956 - July 8, 2018


It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Joseph Mary Ruggier at the age of 61, at his home in Richmond, BC, on Sunday July 8, 2018.

Joe was born in Malta on July 26, 1956 and emigrated to Canada in 1981. He married Maria Julia Raminhos Lourenco in 1984, with whom he raised their daughter, Sarah Thérèse.

He attended St. Aloysius' College followed by a B.A. (1st class Honours) in English from the Royal University of Malta and continued his studies in Canada earning a certificate in Writing and Publishing (SFU) and a Diploma in Typesetting (VCC), which he credits for becoming an established publisher. Joe wrote and published poetry in both Maltese and English, managing a small press, Multicultural Books of BC, and editing the poetry journal, The Eclectic Muse. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to publish dozens of titles, selling over 20,000 books. Joe was committed to the written word, elevating the works of his peers and poets he loved. In his final days, he worked fervently, translating work by Maltese priest, writer and poet, Dun Karm Psaila. Joe was passionate about his faith, family -- most especially his beloved Sarah Thérèse -- international sports (soccer), languages, playing classical guitar and listening to his wide-ranging record collection.

Joe was predeceased by his beloved mother Maria Ruggier (née Micallef). He leaves to mourn his loss his family, Sarah Thérèse and Maria Julia, his father Alfred, his six siblings Paul, Fred, Louis, Mario, Anna, Marisa, Aunts, Uncle, in-laws, many cousins, nephews, nieces and great-niece and nephew, residing in Canada, USA, Malta, Ireland, and Kenya.

Prayers will be offered on July 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul Church, 8251 St. Albans Rd., Richmond, B.C. where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on July 19, 2018 at St. Paul Church at 10:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Gardens of Gethsemani for 1:30 p.m. Condolences for the family may be left at . Visit Joe’s website at

Father Dunstan Massey, OSB

Jul 15, 2018 3:44am

I would like to send my condolences to the Sarah Therese and the members of the family. I will offer a Mass and prayers for the repose of Joe's soul, who in life was a publisher and a poet.

John P. Portelli

Jul 15, 2018 12:52pm

My sincere condolences to his family. Joe translated two of my collections of Maltese poetry into English. A very spiritual person. May he rest in peace.

Esther Cameron

Jul 15, 2018 5:01pm

Joe Ruggier will be greatly missed. He was a fine poet and a true lover of poetry whose Eclectic Muse gave many traditional poets a forum. He had more of a feeling for the English poetic tradition than many poets who are native speakers today. I think his being from Malta had something to do with it; cultural traditions sometimes survive longer in the "provinces" than in the "major" cultural centers where fashion reigns. I hope he is now in Paradise with the souls of the poets he revered.

Esther Cameron

Jul 15, 2018 5:33pm

I also want to offer my condolences to Joe's family and especially to Therese, whom I almost feel I know through Joe's poems. May you find much comfort.


Jul 16, 2018 10:51pm

He was a brilliant man, an amazing person . Very spiritual, very giving . He could never hurt anyone.
I loved his poetry. He read it to me . He gave me my first guitar lessons. We sat by the sea and watched the waves crash against the shore.
He was a talented classical guitar player. He played Recuerdos De La Alhambra
beautifully. He loved all classical music and cherished his records. We listened together.
His idol was Segovia . He loved the mystical. He loved plants .

Dr. Joseph F. Pittelli, Mt. Laurel, NJ USA

Jul 17, 2018 2:18am

Joe's life said it for him and for me.

Gordon Ramel

Jul 17, 2018 3:17am

A sad loss to the world, especially those aspects of it interested in poetry. Joe was a wise soul and a generous editor/publisher. Both he and EM will be missed.

Michael Fraley

Jul 17, 2018 4:02am

My condolences to the family and loved ones of Joe. He was very supportive of poets and brought the personal touch to publishing our work. It's rare to find someone who is so dedicated to helping others. He will be missed by all who love his magazine, the "Eclectic Muse". Thank you Joe for everything!


Jul 17, 2018 4:54pm


Robin Ouzman Hislop

Jul 17, 2018 10:12pm

I learn with great sadness the passing of Joe Ruggier. I first became acquainted with him through Michael Burch a poet who greatly admired his work. After I resumed editorship Poetry Life & Times, Joe was considerate enough to make several contributions in the early days when PLT eas trying to find a footing. He also sent me personally copies of his collected works, for which I'm very glad now to be in possession of. in remembrance of him & his works. I will make an honoury tribute to him at Poetry Life & Times. My condolences to his family & friends.

Wendy Lin

Jul 20, 2018 2:13am

R.I.P , my neighbor! I'm used to seeing you walking in the lobby of the apartment or the parking lot outside, and suddenly I can't see you. I'm not used to it. Although we usually greet each other, we only get to know you today through an obituary. Your voice and smile and that black and white umbrella are forever in my memory.


Jul 21, 2018 7:05pm

Always wanted to know him, he was so regular for his Sunday Mass and Communion.


Jul 22, 2018 6:14pm

I am a parishioner of Saint Paul in Richmond where Joe was a faithful member of 7:30 am Sunday mass. He was a very quiet person and except saying hello to him, we never met. The little book mark left in the foyer of the church with quote from St Thérèse and Joe's poem at the back made me realized how special a soul he was, reading the obituary of his life on this page made me aware how talented he was. Attending 7:30 am mass today without his familiar presence was odd and sad. I pray that God will give comfort to Sarah and Maria, his dad and all his relatives and give Joe kind admittance to His kingdom.

Call Us Today

At Kearney’s, we take pride in the level of service and care that we provide. No matter your need, we can help you at every step.

Contact Us