It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Mary Russo (nee Messina), Hoboken native, who left us peacefully on July 8, 2024, at the age of 95 in Hoboken, NJ. She is remembered as a beloved wife, cherished mother, devoted sister, treasured grandmother, loving great-grandmother, and proud great-great-grandmother, who will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

On July 20, 1928, in Hoboken, NJ, Mary was born to Italian immigrants, Onofrio and Marta Messina. Mary was the eldest daughter of their 10 children. She grew up in Hoboken, where she worked as the city’s first Meter Maid. Mary went on to work for the Hoboken Parking Authority for over two decades, while also serving as a committee woman in the 1980s. In 2018, Mary Russo was named Hoboken’s Italian Senior Citizen Woman of the Year; a recognition she was extremely honored to have received. 

Mary was a passionate woman of faith and a proud parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Church, which she pursued with great enthusiasm. Mary was especially spirited about charities and giving back to her community, as she consistently supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital throughout the duration of her life. Mary loved cooking, baking, eating, and vacationing. She was known throughout the city for her vibrant character and relentless energy. Friends and family will remember Mary for her kindness, generosity, sense of humor, and unwavering dedication to those she came across.

On January 8, 1949, Mary married Matthew Russo (“John Wayne”), her devoted partner. Together, Mary and Matthew raised five children on 4th Street, between Park and Willow.

Mary leaves behind an incredible legacy of independence, vivacious strength, and unconditional love. Her spirit will live on in the hearts of those she touched. She taught us the value of family, hard-work, and what it means to truly live life to the fullest.

Mary is survived by her sister Antionette Tormey, brother John Messina, daughters Martha Canonico (Blair) and Elizabeth Petrosino (Anthony), son Matthew Russo (Tina), daughter-in-law Camille Russo, grandchildren Vincent Russo (Brianna), Alexis Bermudez (Alonso), Kristy Russo, Angela Russo, Peter Petrosino, Matt Petrosino (Chloe), and Anthony Petrosino Jr., as well as nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her husband Matthew Russo, daughter Patricia Bazzi (Nicky), son Vincent Russo, sisters Martha Manobianco and Angelina Milat, brothers Angelo Messina, Dominick Messina, Mario Messina, Morris Messina, and Carlo Messina.

A mass will be held on Friday, July 12, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis Church in Hoboken. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Mary’s memory.

Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Mausoleum in North Arlington, NJ.

We invite those who knew Mary to celebrate her life by sharing memories, stories, and messages of condolence at Mary’s life was a testament to her joyful spirit and zeal for life, and she will be profoundly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her.


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