Millie Russo (aka Carmelina, Mimi, Gram, Melissa and always Mom), our beloved mother, grandmother of 9, great grandmother of 25 , great-great grandmother of 1 with a second on the way, and dear friend to so many went home to the angels on September 4, just 3 days shy of her 103rd and 4 month birthday.
Millie was born to Gaetana and Emilio Tutino on May 7, 1915, the oldest of six children, and grew up in Harlem when it was home to a large immigrant Italian population. She married August Russo and soon after they moved to their lifelong home in Yonkers. There they raised their two children, Anthony and Lillian, and were caring grandparents to many of their nine grandchildren. Millie was the matriarch of the family and hosted Sunday dinners for up to 30 people each week. Her meatballs were legendary and the pasta pot never ran out. All the while she helped Augie in their fish store and later in their liquor store, both of which were in the Bronx. She and Augie were active members of the Coyne Park Seniors. In their golden years, they travelled to many places in the United States and Europe and spent winters in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida where they made many good and dear friends.
Millie was predeceased by her daughter Lillian, her husband Augie, her brother Ralph and sisters Ollie, Alba and Helen. Her baby sister Emily and her son Anthony and his wife Andrea survive her as does her faithful and heartbroken companion, a Chihuahua named Valentine.
At the age of 95, Millie voluntarily gave up her driver’s license and gave her car to her great granddaughter Taylor who is still driving it. When living by herself at home and having to deal with the steep stairs to the downstairs kitchen and living area became too much for her, she moved into Anthony and Andrea’s home in Irvington where she enjoyed many wonderful years. Parties, vacations, family reunions with Andrea’s family, entertaining friends and family and participating in activities at the Irvington Senior Center were all part of Millie’s later life. Up until very recently, she spent many hours in the kitchen cooking her specialties and helping Andrea preserve her garden vegetables for tomato sauce and eggplant parmigiana. On Sundays she “went out” with Anthony worshipping at different area churches, walking in the park and just spending quality time.
Her family and her friends cherish memories and wonderful stories of a remarkable lady and a beautiful soul who was warm, generous, and full of life and fun throughout all of life’s challenges. Anthony and Andrea want to say a special thanks to her caregiver Erika who was with her to the end and made her life as full and comfortable as possible. Just a week before her passing, they were dancing in her room to the chicken song.
We will gather at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY on Sunday September 9 from 4 to 8 pm and for a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Monday September 10 at 9:45 AM to celebrate Millie’s full life.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice. To leave online condolences please visit: www.beecherflooksfh.com