Leonard N. Russo, 85, a longtime resident of Westport, passed away on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River. He was the husband of the late Ursula M. (Franco) Russo. They were married in 1959, and they celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2019. Mr. Russo was a communicant of St. John the Baptist Church, Westport.
Mr. Russo, the son of the late Nicholas and Antoinette (Candelmo) Russo, was born and raised in Portland, ME. He is a 1955 graduate of Portland’s Deering High School, where he was a proud trombonist in the marching band.
Mr. Russo graduated from Bryant University in 1957 with a B.S. in accounting. He met Ursula Franco, of Fall River, the love of his life, at a square dance in college. He served in the U.S. Army from 1959-1962 during the Berlin Wall era. Prior to his retirement, he served the majority of his career at Gilbane Building Co. in Providence, RI, where he worked as an accountant in construction management. He is honored at Gilbane’s corporate headquarters on the company’s Wall of Fame for noteworthy employees.
Prior to moving to Westport, Mr. and Mrs. Russo, loving, active and engaged parents, raised their two children, Elaine and Len Jr., in Swansea. Mr. Russo was a member of the Knights of Columbus. With other Swansea parents and community members, he helped found Swansea’s Independent Baseball League in the 1970s, to encourage youngsters of all skill levels to be given substantial playing time in the context of team play. He played trombone in the Swansea Community Band, and he was a proud leader in the Joseph Case High School Marching Band Parents’ Group.
Mr. Russo was a loving and devoted grandfather to his grandchildren, Grant and Halle Friedman of New York City. He and Mrs. Russo looked forward to the children’s frequent visits to Swansea and Westport, where they engaged in a variety of local activities, including visiting the Providence Zoo and Battleship Cove in Fall River. Throughout their childhood and teenage years, Grant and Halle counting on speaking by phone with “Papa and VoVo” every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM, without fail.
Mr. Russo was a devoted and lifelong fan of “his” beloved New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. More recently, he became a passionate fan of the Duke University Blue Devils men’s basketball team, simply because his granddaughter matriculates there. He enjoyed texting her during games, and he became an avid fan of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.
Survivors include his son: Leonard N. Russo, Jr. of East Providence; his daughter: Elaine Russo Friedman and her husband Gary D. Friedman of New York, NY; three sisters: Josephine Malconian and her husband, Robert, of Portland, ME, Grace Cintron and her husband Arthur, of Marlborough, MA; and Camilla Raposa and her husband John Philip (“Phil”), of Westport; two grandchildren: Grant Friedman and Halle Friedman; his great grand-dog, “Shea Friedman”; and many beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins, and numerous extended family members. He was the brother of the late Rose Goodell of Portland, ME.
Arrangements are private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Beacon Hospice, 183 N. Main St., Fall River, MA 02720.