Mary Veronica Russo passed away on July 10, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz., at the home of her daughter, Debi Russo, where she lived for the past four years. Mary would have celebrated her 103rd birthday in September. She was born in Mt. Carmel, Pa., to Adam and Veronica Cicanivicius, the oldest of eight children. Her youngest sibling, Dorothy Perron of Everett, Mass., survives her.
Mary left Mt. Carmel after graduation from high school, attended Yale Business School in New Britain, Conn., and went to work as the restaurant manager for the Childs Restaurant Company in Boston, Mass., where she met Anthony Russo. They were wed in 1936 in Littleton, N.H. Anthony passed away in 1988. Their first child, Anthony, predeceased her in 1938. There are five surviving daughters: Diane Russo of Atlanta, Ga., Denise Tosca of Prescott, Ariz., Donna Russo of Tucson, Ariz., Debi Russo of Tucson, Ariz., and Darlene Coffey of Bellows Falls, Vt. Mary is survived by 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, with another great-grandchild expected any day.
Her greatest love and joy was her family. She was an avid swimmer, loved to knit, cook, and relate stories of her wonderful life. She was a devoted church member and an Acolyte in her church, often bringing communion to recipients much younger than she. Mary was also a skilled seamstress, and will be remembered by many in St. Johnsbury, Vt. for her time as owner of the Concord Candy Kitchen on Railroad Street in the late '50s and early '60s. Toni's work as a theatre manager brought the family to Bellows Falls, Vt., in 1967. Mary worked for St. Johnsbury Trucking Company in Bellows Falls, for 10 years, before she and Toni retired to Tucson in the early '80s.
Her family cherishes the moments and stories that Mom, Gram, Gigi, would often share, lovingly, ... "let me tell you something...(insert your favorite story memory)...and that's the story."