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Senator John Francis Russo


1933 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Senator John Francis Russo Obituary
Senator John Francis Russo

AGE: 84 • Toms River

Senator John F. Russo, 84, of Toms River, NJ passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, August 12, 2017 surrounded by family, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, friend, and public servant.

John was born July 11, 1933 in Asbury Park, NJ to Italian immigrant parents. He attended Asbury Park High School and became the first of seven children to attend college. As an undergraduate, John studied at the University of Notre Dame graduating cum laude in 1955. He attended Columbia Law School, graduating in 1958 in the top one-third of the class. Upon graduation from law school, John clerked for Justice Thomas Schettino with the New Jersey Supreme Court for one year. Following his clerkship, John and his lovely wife Mary Ann (Carrigan) moved to Toms River where he served as Assistant Prosecutor for Ocean County for nine years, and also started a successful law practice.

John and Mary Ann, who were high school sweethearts, were wed on September 7, 1957, and were married for nearly 60 years. They joined Saint Joseph's Parish in the early 1960s and have remained faithful parishioners for decades. They raised their three children, Cathy, Caryl and John, in their home town of Toms River.

Senator Russo was a Member Emeritus of the Princeton Public Affairs Group. In 1973, he was elected as the first Democratic Senator in Ocean County serving 18 years in the New Jersey Senate. As a State Senator, he authored more than 200 laws. John was elected by his colleagues as the Senate President, serving in this capacity from 1986 to 1990. During this time, John served as the Acting Governor under Governor Thomas Kean. In the Senate, John served on the Joint Committee on Appropriations and a Special Sub-Committee on Tax Reform and was the chair of the Committee on Energy, Agriculture and Environment and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

John was an intelligent and thoughtful man who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with family and friends. A sports enthusiast, John was an avid skier who spent much time on the slopes in Vail, Colorado. John also loved playing tennis and golf, passions he passed down to his kids and grandkids. He was a dedicated pilot for more than 30 years. and loved spending his summers on the beach at the Jersey Shore with friends and family.

John was predeceased by his parents, John Carmine and Philomena (Appicelli) Russo; his sisters, Cecilia and Anna; and brothers, Tony and Joe. Surviving are his beloved wife, Mary Ann; his daughter Cathy and her husband, Ed Delanoy; his daughter Caryl and her husband Robert Singer; his son, John and his wife Jennifer Perlmutter-Russo; his grandchildren, Michael, Dana, Marianna, Jake and Caroline; his sisters, Theresa Freda and Carol Marzarella; his many nieces, nephews, and friends; and his devoted caregiver, Nancy.

A viewing will be held on Friday, August 18, 2017 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home, 703 Main Street, Toms River, NJ. A mass to celebrate John's life will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, August 19, 2017 at St. Joseph's R.C. Church, Toms River, Burial will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery, Toms River, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to St. Joseph's R.C. Church, 685 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ 08753 or , 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Condolences to the family may be expressed by visiting www.anderson andcampbell.com
Published in Asbury Park Press on Aug. 16, 2017
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