Russell Paul "Russ" ESPOSITO

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  • "To our long time neighbor…, our grown daughters will never..."
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ESPOSITO, Russell Paul "Russ" Was born March 26, 1920 in Spokane, Washington. He was the son of Pasquale (Charles) and Angelina Esposito, both deceased. He was raised in the Gonzaga University/St. Aloysius neighborhood, attending both St. Aloysius grade school and Gonzaga Prep before entering Gonzaga University. He enrolled in pre-medicine and played at an end position during Gonzaga University's final era of college football. While in school he assisted his father at his grocery store. After college he attended medical school in Portland, Oregon attaining a degree in dentistry. While there, he met his future wife Peggy Tallman. Upon completing his degree, they married on 11 November 1944 and he then joined the Army as a dentist during WWII. Later he transferred to the Navy and was stationed in San Diego. Following the war he returned to Spokane to open his practice but was forced to close it when he was recalled to active duty by the Navy during the Korean conflict. He was stationed in Oakland California Naval Base where he operated out of a mobile medical van serving the Naval Bay Area. After Oakland he returned to Washington to attend the University of Washington where he completed a degree in Orthodontics specializing in maxillofacial surgery. His PhD thesis was photo-Elastic stress analysis. He practiced orthodontics in Spokane with Peggy as his medical assistant. The couple retired at age 65 and began to travel. Russ enjoyed his immediate family, the Migliuri clan on his mother's side in Spokane and the Scarcello side belonging to his father's sister near Rathdrum, Idaho. Russ was an avid fisherman and hunter, traveling to Alaska with his brother Joe. He loved his yard and garden and spent time relaxing with family and doing work on the family lake cabin at Twin Lakes, Idaho. He and Peggy traveled throughout the world visiting Europe, Australia, China, Canada as well as Africa and other locations, often to meet up with his uncle George Migliuri. Russ and Peggy took trips in their motorhome around the county. He participated in charitable organizations, including services to reconstruct cleft palate deformities in children. He and his father initiated the annual Gonzaga Prep spaghetti dinner. Following the death of his wife, Verna Felice, a long-time family friend, became his constant companion. Russ was preceded in death by his parents, wife Peggy and brother Joseph Anthony. He is survived by his brother Charles, sister Gloria and her husband Richard Poole, sister-in-law Joyce Esposito, and close companion Verna Felice. Nieces and nephews; Charles' children; Angela, Charles, Gina, Sarina and Anthony. Joe and Joyce's daughters; Kate, Molly, Jill, Sara and Amy. Gloria's children; Richard, Brian and Kristina. He was blessed with numerous great nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held on Friday, 6 June from 12:00- 7:00 p.m. with a Vigil Service following at 7:00 pm at Hennessey Smith Funeral Home on Division. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, 7 June at 11:00 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes followed by Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery with a reception following at St. Thomas More Parish. To view Russ' online memorial, please visit


Funeral Home
Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory - Division St.
2203 N Division Street
Spokane , WA 99207
(509) 328-2600
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Published in Spokesman-Review from June 4 to June 5, 2014
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