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Obituary - Lawrence A. and Laura A. Russo

Lawrence A. and Laura A. Russo

Date of Passing: November 3rd, 2010

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Lawrence A. and Laura A. Russo, of North Utica, by the power of true love and prayer, both went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, with their loving family at their bedsides. After 70 years of marriage, their journey to heaven was separated by mere hours. Larry was born on July 4, 1917, in Utica, the eldest child of John and Antonia Russo. He was soon thereafter baptized Lorenzo Alfonso Russo in St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church in Utica. Laura was born on September 30, 1917, in Utica, the daughter of Rocco and Louisa DiNardi. Laura was also baptized in St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church. Larry and Laura have remained active and committed members of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church for their entire lives. From a young age, Larry exhibited great courage, love for family and an entrepreneurial drive and talent. From the age of 12 to 84, Larry worked as a barber. He owned and operated Larry's Barber Shop, first in downtown Utica and then for 46 years in Whitesboro. Throughout this time, Larry's legendary drive and work ethic lead to other successful endeavors, including service as a City of Utica firefighter, a restaurant owner, dry cleaner owner and real estate developer. The operation of Larry's Barber Shop and his interaction with literally thousands of customers over his 72 year career was truly his greatest working joy. His longtime customers can attest that they were always greeted with a bright smile, a warm hand shake and treated to great discussions on any number of topics. Larry's kindness, class and superior social skills were always front and center. Larry and Laura were married on July 6, 1940, in St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church, Utica. From that day their marriage was one of true love, respect and adoration for one another. Their relationship and the love they showed for one another, which continued in abundance until their passing, served as a true inspiration and example for all who loved them so very much. While Laura worked for the Boston Store and Van Tyne Card Shop in Utica for a brief period of time, her entire adult life was dedicated to supporting her husband in his business endeavors which were performed for the betterment of their loved ones. During this time, Laura was a selfless homemaker and caretaker for her children, grandchildren and at times her extended family. Laura's home was always open to all those she loved - family and friends alike. Those who visited were always treated to the most wonderful food prepared by Laura with pride and love. Her Italian dishes were legendary, as was the manner in which she prepared and served the same. Most of her families greatest memories and joys took place at her kitchen table with great food, stories of times since passed, while surrounded by loved ones. Both Larry and Laura's truest joy, however, was their family, especially their children, grandchildren, and in the later years their great-grandchildren. With their collective love, selfless devotion and commitment, they were both the inspiration and guiding hand for their family. In always leading by example and in their teachings of family, faith and hard work, their family collectively credits them with the good fortune they have experienced throughout the years. The receipt of college degrees by each and everyone of their grandchildren may have been the proudest moments for both Larry and Laura. Without their leadership, love and encouragement, it is doubtful this would have been achieved. To say that the surviving family of Larry and Laura is forever indebted to them for their never-ending love, compassion and time is truly an understatement. While the family will suffer a huge void that will never be filled, they take great solace in the fact that Larry and Laura so much in love from their holy matrimony 70 years ago entered in the Holy Kingdom together hand in hand. It is no doubt that their deep devotion and love for each other coupled with Larry's unparalleled commitment to God and prayer throughout his adult life allowed for this wonderful gift. Mom and dad, nani and papa, grandma and grandpa, big nani and big papa, we have been blessed to have you as such a prominent part of our respective lives. We thank you for all that you have sacrificed for us. We will carry on with your teachings and love. You will remain in our hearts and prayers forever. We love you and already miss you so much. They are survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Annette and Carl Fiore of North Utica; a son and daughter-in-law, John, Sr., and JoAnn Russo of North Utica; four beloved grandchildren, Patrick and Tracy Fiore, Lawrence and Noelle Fiore, Deanna Zegarelli-Pecheone and Carl Pecheone, and John, Jr., and Lisa Russo; 13 great-grandchildren, Antonia, Carl, Nina, Cristina, Samantha, Nicholas, Carlo, Bianca and Victoria Fiore, Julianna Zegarelli, Thomas Zegarelli, Christopher Pecheone and Skylie Russo; sisters-in-law, Marion DiNardi of Utica and Agnes Russo of Utica; and several nieces and nephews. Larry and Laura also leave a special friend, Flora Rabice of Clinton. Mr. Russo is also survived by his sister, Josephine LaPaglia of Whitesboro. He was also predeceased by his brother, Joseph Russo; his brother-in-law, Frank LaPaglia; and his sister-in-law, Frances Russo. Mrs. Russo is also survived by a sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth (Betty) and Harold Burton of New Hartford, and her brother, Rocco DiNardi of Utica. She was also predeceased by her brother, Joseph DiNardi, and sister-in-law, Katherine DiNardi. Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial for Larry and Laura to be celebrated on Monday at 10:30 AM at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish by Father James Cesta. Private entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum. There are no public calling hours. The family will receive visitors at the conclusion of Mass. The Russo family acknowledges with gratitude the nurses and aides of the Willow Unit of the Presbyterian Home for Central NY and Dr. Francis Chabot. Arrangements are with the Bentz & Amodio Funeral Service, Inc., Utica/New Hartford.

Condolences:

Dear John,JoAnn,Annette,Carl and Family Our condolences on the passing of Larry and Laura. May they rest in peace...together forever in heaven. Let God's deep love and understanding help you in your grief. Your faith will guide you through this time of bereavement. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our deepest sympathy, Ivan and Cynthia Guarnizo
Ivan and Cynthia

Carl, Annette and family....sorry for the loss of your parents. My prayers and condoleces are with you. May they rest in peace.
David (Lee) Lia

November 06, 2010 Annette and Johnny, my sincerest and deepest sympathy rests with you & your lovely families. Please stay strong and know as you look to the sky that two stars shine more brightly now, as Laura and Larry walk with God. You know I loved your parents and the news of their passing was so very sad. To lose both parents in one day is almost too overwhelming to comprehend but perhaps there is some comfort in knowing they are forever together. Their love story is truly inspirational and definitely gives us pause to reflect on the words we have often heard…..that God does work in mysterious ways. I am so happy to have spent time with them this summer and will cherish forever the memory of how their eyes twinkled when they told our high school stories; the pride and love in their faces when they reflected on the lives and accomplishments of both of you and the grandchildren; and the pure joy when they talked of the great grandchildren. I will miss our summer chats & the walks down memory lane; I will miss the gentle kindness they always showed to my son Jason, and Laura, I will forever miss your chicken soup. It sustained me for many, many years. We will miss you Laura and Larry but your memory will live with us and in our hearts forever. Love, Theresa
Theresa Ciruzzi Reynolds

Annette and John - I know how difficult this will be for you to lose both parents at the same time. Larry and Laura were truly exceptional people. My Mom and family will miss them dearly. Love - Phyllis
Phyllis Moracco