Former longtime Rumsonite, Forrestdale School wood shop teacher and prominent area developer, Vincent J. Russo, passed away peacefully at his Oceanport home, “in the care of his faithful caregiver of eight years, Kofi Kubi,” on Jan. 3. He was 93.
Vincent was born to Theresa and Vincent J. Russo and raised in Hillburn, NY.
Vincent, a grateful first-generation American, graduated high school in 1946 and served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Europe. During this time, he had the unexpected opportunity to travel through Europe.
After graduating from Kean University, on the G.I. Bill, he began teaching wood shop in public schools, first in Ramsey before moving south to Rumson, where he set up the first wood shop, later called industrial arts, at what was then the new Forrestdale Elementary School.
He was a true craftsman, turning his talents to building Cape Cod style houses in town during the summers. Although he enjoyed working in education and was eligible for tenure in 1961, he instead took a chance on making building and construction his life’s work.
Vincent is survived by his three children: his daughter, Alyce Russo, her husband Steven Schall and their son, Nathaniel Schall Russo; his son, Vincent J. Russo III; and his daughter, Dana S. Russo.
He is also survived by his former wife of 38 years, Marie S. Russo, in addition to extended family, and many dear friends and long-time co-workers and business colleagues.
Vincent was entombed on Jan. 10 at Woodbine Cemetery and Mausoleum, in a private ceremony. A memorial celebration will be held at an outdoor venue later this year. In memory, donations may be made by mail or online to: ALZHEIMER’S NEW JERSEY, Respite Care and Wellness Program, 425 Eagle Rock Ave., #203, Roseland, NJ 07068, http://weblink.donorperfect.com/vincentrusso; or, the ALZHEIMER’S DRUG DISCOVERY FOUNDATION, 57 West 57th Street, Suite 904, New York, NY 10019, https://www.alzdiscovery.org/donate
— Edited obituary provided by family via Thompson Memorial Home