Jeffrey J. Russo, of Linden, NJ, beloved father and husband, age 59, passed away on the afternoon of Thursday, December 28th, 2017, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving wife Patricia, daughters Maria and Victoria, and son Marc. He is survived by his mother, Marie Ann Russo, brother, Norman Russo and wife Linda, sister Lisa Tarei and husband Abby, nieces Alicia Ochs and Rachael Russo, nephews Nicholas and Russell Russo, grandniece Abigail Ochs and grandnephew Jace Russo. He joins his father Noe in God’s kingdom, where they will watch over their family for all time.
As a young man, he worked with his dad in the family business, Russo Bros Auto Wreckers, junking cars and scouring the yard for just the right part amongst the million for his customers. Later, he started a successful business, Jeff’s Landscaping, went to photography school, worked as a warehouse manager, and most recently became one of eBay’s top rated sellers, receiving a number of awards for his online collectibles shop.
Like his father, Jeff was a collector by nature. He had a keen eye for details and curiosities, and if it was collectible, he collected it. From stamps to action figures, vinyl records to magazines, he leaves behind a treasure trove of incalculable sentimental value. An avid baseball card aficionado, perhaps his area of greatest focus, we will cherish his collection with the same love he poured into it. A die hard Yankees and Steelers fan, perhaps he can put his thumb on the scales of victory in their favor in 2018.
Photography was his other favorite hobby, and he had a camera with him at all times. Sometimes people would wonder what he was taking a picture of, only to find out much later that he had captured the perfect moment or hilarious facial expression. His photos were his living memory. Our home is covered wall to wall in moments that he captured. There are thousands of photos that no one but Jeff has seen, and through those photos, we will get to experience the world again through his eyes. One of his favorite subjects to photograph was his garden and the many flowers he grew there. He had a powerful green thumb and took great pride in his yard, and we enjoyed his delicious vegetables towards the end of every summer.
Always laughing and smiling, he was constantly at the ready with one of his classic dad jokes - often groaners, but guaranteed to make you chuckle. He was a real card, as they used to say. His sense of humor was one of his defining characteristics, and he took great joy in laughing with those around him. We’ll laugh with him again every time we watch an episode of the Andy Griffith Show, The Middle, Family Affair, Welcome Back Kotter, Leave It to Beaver, Happy Days, Gomer Pyle or any of the other million shows he loved so much. And when we listen to his favorite band, The Beatles, we’ll know in our hearts that all things must pass, and it’s not always going to be this grey.
Jeff was a devoted father and husband above all else. Married on May 9th, 1998 to Patricia Marie Reyes, their two families were merged, and her son Marc and his daughter Maria became each other’s first brother and sister. Jeff and Patti welcomed their daughter Victoria in December of that year, binding us all together in love and family, a bond that will never be broken. He loved nothing more on this earth than his two daughters, Maria and Victoria. Watching them grow into the strong women they have become was his life’s greatest pride. They were his light, his joy, and they are the living embodiment of his deep love.
He will be missed, and he will live on in our hearts and memories.
The funeral is from the Mastapeter Funeral Home, 400 Faitoute Ave., Roselle Park on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 8:15am. A funeral mass will be offered at St. Elizabeth Church, Linden at 9:30am. Interment will follow at Rosedale Cemetery, Linden.
Visitation is on Monday from 2 to 6pm.