By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Candy Apple Lady Community Loses Resident Known For Serving Up Treats
They called her the candy apple lady because she made and gave away some 400 of the sweets to children every Halloween for 25 years.

But Ruby Suguitan Cassidy of Riverbank resisted having a story written about her during her life - "I don't want to find myself making 2,000 of them," she told her daughter Dora Cavaggion - and she died at home on Aug. 3 at the age of 77. (See obituary, page A6 of this week's issue.)

Dipping apples in the red, cinnamon-flavored mixture and setting them on trays to cool, she would hand them out to trick or treaters each year at the door. When she became a classroom volunteer at Rio Altura School, then at the age of 50 won her high school diploma so she could be a genuine teacher's aide, she would bring enough candy apples to school to serve her class.

Other children that craved the sweet confectionery learned to come to her home after school that day and bring their families with them.

"Sometimes there would be parents pushing a baby stroller and asking to take a candy apple home for their mom. So she was serving four generations," said Cavaggion.

She also laid aside trays of the candy for city workers, which may explain why they were so quick to reply to her calls about a blocked sewer or trash in the alleyway or other complaints.

Born in the San Fernando Valley, Cassidy moved to Riverbank when she was 12. Besides working, she raised five daughters with her husband Bob, who was a chef at the Sundial Restaurant in Modesto and died in 1966.

"There was only one year she did not make the candy apples. That was the year when she was ill," said Cavaggion. "She also made tamales at Christmas and gave away those too."

She was proud of her garden that was so crammed with homegrown produce that she often invited people in to take what they wanted. She also grew a type of cactus that both served as a prickly fence against intruders and could be cut up and grilled for eating.

In addition to her classroom work, at times she worked as a nurse's assistant at what was then the River Bluff Convalescent Hospital and provided home care as well.

"The hits on the Facebook site started immediately after her death. She was the most positive person I've known," said Cavaggion.

A memorial service for Mrs. Cassidy will be conducted on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. at Calvary Temple at 1601 Coffee Road in Modesto.