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Richard Frank Russo

September 5, 1946 — October 3, 2023

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Richard Frank Russo

Richard Frank Russo, 77, passed away October 3, 2023, surrounded by his family. He fought cancer and tried his best to beat it.

Born September 5, 1946, in Freeport, NY to Salvatore and Virginia Russo, he spent his early years on Long Island. Moving with his family to upstate New York, he graduated from Cherry Valley High School in 1964. Following graduation from SUNY Canton, he began a career at Beech-Nut Baby Foods. During his 29 years at Beech-Nut as a Food Technologist and Project Leader, his contributions promoted innovation and helped develop new products leading to several patents. In his younger years he loved fishing, playing softball with old friends from high school, and golfing at the Canajoharie Country Club. Richard moved to Jacksonville Beach following the birth of his first grandchild. He worked at both the Publix deli and the St. Johns County School District as a custodian where he was twice named School-Related Employee of the Year. He enjoyed Jaguars football. Following retirement, he became a full-time stay-at-home grandpa. He took care of his grandchildren, both his own and the many others that came into his care. He loved taking care of the various household animals over the years. He was known to be a great listener, generous with his time and efforts, and humble. He had a nickname for everyone he loved. He was known for his sense of humor, a bit of a wise-guy. He had a huge heart. He loved holidays and was particularly good at making Thanksgiving pies and hanging Christmas lights. He didn’t meet a stranger, he could and would talk to anyone. One of his last acts on this earth was to make a new friend.

Richard is survived by his son, Antonio Russo (Allison); daughter, Richelle Russo (Donny Kretser); grandchildren, Nicolo Russo, Isabella Russo, Giovanna Russo (Joshua Ward), Salvatore Russo, Korynn Kretser, and Gracynn Kretser; sister, Carol Scicchitano (Chick); and brother, Gary Russo (Anne Elliott).

In keeping with his wishes, a private Celebration of Life will be held.

 

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