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John P. Russo, age 69, of Wilmington, MA, and Palm Harbor, FL, passed away peacefully at home on February 1, 2024, following a courageous battle with cancer.
John was born on April 30, 1954, in Woburn, MA; he was the dear son of the late Peter and Phyllis (Griswold) Russo. John was raised and educated in Woburn. Growing up, John loved to "hang out" with his brother Sam; the duo headed out on lots of adventures, meeting up with lots of friends, and getting into their share of mischief but they always had a lot of fun.
Following High School, John, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. on May 28, 1971. John was proud of his service to our Country; he served actively until May of 1975 and earned his National Defense Service Medal and the Rifle Sharpshooter Badge. John was honorably discharged and returned home to his family; he went on to serve in the Marine Reserves until May of 1977.
John married the "love of his life and best friend" Terry Hill on October 24, 1987; the couple made their home in Wilmington, MA, for many years where they raised a wonderful family. John made it evident that he loved Terry with all his heart, he was also a very devoted dad and a loving grandfather who enjoyed spoiling his grandchildren rotten, especially with their "candy store" adventures.
John and Terry, along with their family and friends spent summers at their place in Small Point Maine. John enjoyed gathering people together to eat, drink, and have fun. After a long day on the water, John looked forward to gathering around the campfire playing the guitar and singing; he had an incredible voice and could sing any kind of music. John was always cooking up a storm for everyone and looked forward to the end of the summer season and his annual "Russo Fish Fry" where he would feed everyone at the campground and cottages along with all their friends.
John and Terry loved to travel; some of their more memorable trips were to Nashville, Key West, Colorado, and Aruba to name a few. They were invited to many destination weddings and were always up to travel to a new place.
John was never a fan of the cold so to escape the harsh New England weather they made their second home in Palm Harbor, Florida, where they also made an extended family of neighbors and friends. John and Terry were never away for too long; they always headed back North to visit with family.
John worked hard to provide for his family; for many years he was a truck driver, working with his childhood friend Steve Barbas of Barbas Trucking before taking a job with the Teamsters Local #25. He retired in 2001 after many dedicated years to the Teamsters.
John will be fondly remembered as a great cook; at any given function he and his brother Sam would be the head chefs and feed anywhere from ten to two hundred people without breaking a sweat. They were also known to pull a few pranks while they were in the kitchen.
John was a great guy with a heart of gold; he went out of his way to do for others never expecting anything in return. John was a proud American, a devoted family man and a true friend to many. His life has left such an imprint on so many people and he will forever be missed by all who knew and loved him.
John was the beloved husband of Terry (Hill) Russo, devoted father of Christopher Russo of South Dakota, Sandra Jewett and husband Thomas and Catherine "Katy" Hein and husband Mark all of Haverhill, Jason Hill and wife Kelly of Burlington, and Michael O'Conner and wife Hailey of Wilmington. Loving "Papa" of Steven, Justin, Michail, Tayla, Amber, Camryn, Jason, Michael, Courtney, John, and one great-grandchild. He was the dear brother of Margaret Lane and husband Patrick of Stoughton, Samuel J. Russo and wife Lisa of Billerica, the late Helen Russo and Anne Sturmer. John is further survived by his large extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, February 15th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Dorothy's Church, Main St. (Rte. 38), Wilmington, MA, at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 14th from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John's memory may be made to DAV - Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1999, Memphis, TN 38101.
To leave a message of condolence for the family please visit our website at www.nicholsfuneralhome.com