Barbara "Bobbie" Bruno, wife of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno,
R-Brunswick, was remembered Monday as an unpretentious woman who never
lost sight of what was most important.
"Bobbie was the rock, really, of the family and of my life," her
husband said at a memorial service at St. Pius X Church. Cardinal Edward Egan,
Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, and Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard
presided, along with the Rev. Michael Farano, pastor of St. Pius X. Also
participating in the service was an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Nigel Mumford.
In attendance were the political leaders of New York, including Gov. Eliot
Spitzer, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli,
along with New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and many state legislators
and other officials.
"Joe's a friend. He's been a friend," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon
Silver, D-Manhattan, outside the church. "... This is family. It's not
Bruno said his wife was the daughter of a Presbyterian surgeon in Glens
Falls, whose family were not happy about the prospect of her marrying an
Italian-American "literally from the wrong side of the tracks."
Back then, the senator said, he was a young man who spoke roughly, using
terms such as "youse guys," and with limited prospects.
"I would not have gone to college if it wasn't for Bobbie," he said.
"Bobbie taught me English." Without his wife, Bruno said, "I never would
have done much more than exist. She showed me a better life."