The Day

Barbara A. Russo


Old Lyme — Barbara Ann (Janssen) Russo, 84, of Old Lyme, formerly of Newington, passed away peacefully Feb. 24, 2023. She was the beloved wife of John A. Russo Jr. for 63 years. Barbara was born in Braeburn, Pa., on Feb. 27, 1938, daughter of the late Albert and Hadassa Janssen.

Barbara and John met in Tucson, Ariz., and moved to Connecticu­t to begin their life together and start a family. They raised their seven children in Newington, which kept her busy with all their activities while becoming an active member of the community. She worked for many years as a head teacher at Newington Elementary Children’s Center, Inc. Barbara was a selfless person with a kind and loving heart. She loved hosting parties where friends and family would gather around for her wonderful cooking and baking. She enjoyed gardening, playing tennis, going to plays, concerts, movies, her Monday mahjong group, weekend card games, traveling with family and friends and her annual Christmas party where she brought everyone together. She was an avid sports fan and especially loved attending UConn and Connecticu­t Sun basketball games. Barbara was a member of the Catholic Ladies of Columbus-Our Lady of Grace Assembly at St Mary’s Church, a member of Holy Spirit Church in Newington, where she found great joy in volunteeri­ng at the annual Mother’s Day plant sale, and Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.

Barbara was a loving devoted wife and mother, and her greatest joy was being a grandmothe­r. She remained in Newington until she retired. Barbara then moved permanentl­y to her summer home on Roger’s Lake in Old Lyme, where she filled her time entertaini­ng, teaching mahjong and volunteeri­ng at the Old Saybrook Senior Center. She spent the winter months at their home in Hallandale, Fla.

Barbara will be dearly missed by her loving husband, John A. Russo Jr.; their children, John A. Russo III, Vincent Russo, Melanie Scelza and her husband Frank, Stefanie Russo, Scott Russo, Michele Nanci; her grandchild­ren, Stephen Grondin, Amanda and Stefanie Russo, Nicole and Justin LaVette, Samantha and Jonathan Russo, Frankie and Micaela Scelza, Kar Landers, Marina and Gianna Nanci; and her great-grandchild­ren, Trevor, Amelia, Natalia, and Carter.

In addition to her parents, she was predecease­d by her son Todd; her stepfather Doc Agnew; siblings and their spouses, William and Margaret Janssen, Philip and Joan Crider, Warren Janssen and Richard and Michele Diller. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, March 6, at the Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Newington Memorial, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington, followed by a service at 11 a.m. She will be laid to rest privately. To share a memory with her family, please visit us at www.duksa. net.

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