John Russo Jr. passed away peacefully on May 6 in his home. He was born in Fitchburg on December 2, 1927 to John and Maria (Galassi) Russo, who both immigrated to the United States from Ruvo del Monte in the Italian province of Potenza, in the region of Basilicata.
John graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1945 and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on the U.S.S North Carolina as a Fire Controlman during World War II. He was a proud Navy Veteran. He worked for 33 years for the former New England Telephone Company (Verizon) as a Repair Supervisor and enjoyed over 30 years of retirement.
John was married for 70 years to the love of his life, Carmella (Manca) Russo and they raised their three children in Gardner, living in the family home for 63 years. John loved to decorate during the holiday seasons and was often noted in the community for the beautiful decorations and lights displayed on the property. He also loved to garden, travel, watch sports, go dancing with his wife, and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He and his wife enjoyed several trips to Italy. He was a good listener, a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, and always put his family first and he loved us all, as we all loved him.
John is survived by his loving wife, Carmella, their three children: Peter Russo and his wife Donna of Gardner, Maria Russo-Mitchell of Newburyport, and John (Chip) Russo and his wife Kimberly of Westminster, his grandchildren: Robin Mitchell of London, England, Rebecca Russo of Superior, Colorado, Emily Mitchell of Brooklyn, New York, Nicholas Russo of Gardner, Sara Russo of Westminster, Samuel Russo of Westminster, Sophie Russo of Westminster, his sister, Ann Tuliano of Bothel, Washington, as well as many brother and sister in-laws and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a granddaughter, Laurie Regan. The grandkids called him either Bumpa or Papa and he was very proud of them all.
John truly enjoyed the time spent with his loving and supportive healthcare workers who helped enhance the quality of his life as he lived out his days in his home with his wife. They were a group of amazing women who supported him, took care of him, laughed with him, drove him around town, and helped in so many ways, all while bringing light, joy, and peace into the house – he shared a special bond with them, and we are forever grateful to all of them; they have shown us what true care is all about.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. in the Mack Funeral Home, 105 Central Street, Gardner, MA 01440.
John's funeral will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. in Holy Spirit Church, 50 Lovewell Street, Gardner, MA 01440
Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery, West Street, Gardner, MA 01440, with Military Honors,
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Montachusett Veteran's Outreach Center, 268 Central Street, Gardner, MA 01440.
Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, Douglas M. Stone and Melissa A. McQuaid, funeral directors.