James Joseph Russo, Jr.

Tawas City, Michigan
December 21, 1939 - May 7, 2017


His family will welcome friends for visitation on Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Buresh Funeral Home in Tawas City. There will be a rosary prayed that evening at 7:00 PM.

Service Location

Holy Family Catholic Church


A funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Holy Family Catholic Church in East Tawas with Father Lawrence Boks officiating. Friends and family may pay their respects at church from 10:00 AM until the time of the funeral mass on Saturday.

Obituary Notice

James Joseph Russo, Jr., of Tawas City, passed away at his home on Sunday, May 7, 2017, age 77 years. Jim was born on December 21, 1939 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to James Joseph and Vera Marie (Siltala) Russo, Sr. He met and married the love of his life, Roseann (Price), in 1961 and together they have celebrated 54 beautiful years of marriage! Jim is survived by his loving wife, Roseann Russo of Tawas City; 5 children, Mike (Michelle) Russo of Tawas, Steve (Jill) Russo of Snohomish, WA., Anne (Tim) Blackmore of Tawas, Amy (Vincent) Perciaccante of Peachtree City, GA., and Sarah (Steve) Gorman of Grand Blanc; 13 grandchildren, Danielle (Christina), Zachary (Ashley), Keenan, Erica, Hannah, Alysse, Haley, Jack, Somer, Antonia, Dominic, Emma, and Brady; 2 brothers, John (Susan) Russo of Edina, MN., and Patrick (Deb) Russo of Birmingham, MI.; many nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, James and Vera Russo Sr., and 2 granddaughters, Lillian and Isabella Knotts. Jim worked at Wurtsmith Air Force Base for 28 years as the Base Chief Engineer while maintaining his own business, Russo Engineering in Tawas City, with the help of his sons, Mike and Steve, at different intervals. He continued to work with his son Mike in keeping the business reputable and expanding. Jim and Roseann loved to travel. They lived in High Wycombe, England for 3 years during his time at Wurtsmith Air Force Base. In amongst their travel together, they spent time in Italy, Germany, and Austria. Jim and Roseann also spent numerous winters in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Puerto Rico with close friends. He was a huge community supporter and volunteered countless hours to the benefit of our town. Jim had previously served on the Tawas Area High School Board of Education, Tawas St. Joseph Hospital Board of Directors, and the Tawas City Planning Commission. He was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus, council #2709. Jim loved being outdoors, especially spending time hunting and fishing. He especially enjoyed the many trips to Canada with his sons, grandson, and friends. In his free time, Jim would play cards with anyone who was around, read, garden, and working on finishing writing his life story. He was a connoisseur of history, education, politics and fun facts he shared willingly with anyone who listened. Jim truly will be missed by all who knew and loved him. His family will welcome friends for visitation on Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Buresh Funeral Home in Tawas City. There will be a rosary prayed that evening at 7:00 PM. A funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Holy Family Catholic Church in East Tawas with Father Lawrence Boks officiating. Friends and family may pay their respects at church from 10:00 AM until the time of the funeral mass on Saturday. Burial will take place in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Cemetery in Tawas City. An online guest registry is available at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com.


Tawas City Fire Department
Tawas St. Joseph Hospital
Holy Family Catholic Church


Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Cemetery


I am so sorry we had not played cards recently. I will really miss him. He was a most interesting, great guy & sharp "as a tack."
— David S. Glass
so sorry for your loss
— Patti Whitford
So sorry for your loss... Jim was a great person. I enjoyed a kinship with him because of the roofing trade....I think fondly of memories that go back many years.....
— Bill Hansen Christian Brothers Roofing (formerly).....Christian Brothers Insulation
Dear Russo family - We send you all our most heartfelt condolences, especially to our neighbors behind us, Mike, Elle and girls and to our "old" school friend Amy. Good people come from good people that's for sure!erer

Geri Doug and Kassidy Keisler
— Keisler Family
I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. Russo's passing. I know he will be greatly missed. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
— Laura Deese
Sending my prayers to all of the Russo family. I know all of you loved him and respected him beyond words.
— Cheryl Walker
Jim Russo was the Chief Engineer at WAFB and i worked numerous projects with Jims "engineering Team" many Awards from the Air Force for outstanding projects and cost control. Jim Russo Rest in Peace...
— Ed and Jean Davison, Davison and Son Builders, Inc
Our most sincere condolences to the Russo family. I've known Mike and the family since I was just a boy back in 1968 and have many fond memories of 225 Sixth Avenue. He was a big man with an even bigger presence and will truly be missed.
— Mark Calabrese
So sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

As ever,
Uncle Paul and Aunt Shirley 💭
— Paul and Shirley Natemeier
Dear Russo Family,
Our hearts ache for the great and immeasurable loss to your family - the patriarch has left his physical presence here but will forever remain in people's thoughts and memories. Dani spoke so highly of her grandfather; filled with pride and joy for him. When listening to her, we all got a glimpse of this truly great man. Reading his obituary it captures his 'giving' nature, his robust enthusiasm for life and the epitome of one helping his community. The Greeks have a saying for the loss of someone "May his memory be eternal"; we know he will not be forgotten. Please accept all of our heartfelt sympathies. xox
— The Niarchos family
Sorry for your loss Mike and Elle and the whole Russo family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
— Mark Walker
Our sincere condolences to you Amy, your mom, and all your family. We, and all the staff at SOUTH OMS hold you in our thoughts and prayers this week, and beyond.
— Jeff and Sharon Schultz, and the staff at SOUTH OMS
I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was a great guy and boss as I worked for him at Wurtsmith. He was a very smart man and had quite a sense of humor too. RIP Jim and may God be with you and your family Roseann.
— Carol Leslie
Condolences to the Russo family from the staff at Northland in Tawas
— Beth Kraenzlein
I was so very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was one of the finest guys I've ever met and a joy to work with. We worked together in England back in the late '80s. Our families got to meet through work as well as church and we remember many fun times together. Condolances and prayers to Roseann and all of their beautiful family. RIP James Russo.
— Carl Clayton
Mike and Steve I'm so sorry about the passing of your father. These things are never easy but I like to think that we all have an additional father up there watching over us. He was one of the good ones that helped raise us all. You guys take care and my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.
— Chris Majka
So very sorry for your loss. He is now in God's arms resting peacefully. If you need anything, anything, just let me know. May God continue to comfort all of you. Much Love,
— Mary Bean
I first met Jim in 1972 while I was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB. We struck up a relationship when he made the offer to anyone that he would give them a bottle homemade wine in exchange for a cork, wire and bottle from any champagne type beverage. Cold Duck an inexpensive sparkling wine was somewhat popular then and we would swap products. It always impressed me that this winemaker didn't drink most of his product as he was diabetic. Jim had a "recipe" for making wine from anything that would ferment. Onion, rutabaga and a 7 day juice to wine Welch's grape are some that come to mind. We spent time going behind grocery stores and old orchards looking for fermentable material. When I was rotated out of Michigan I found a dried up apple in my desk acquired on one of these field trips. We have exchanged that apple back and forth these many years. Jim and Roseann were always welcoming to this airman and to so many others over the years a simple thank you does not adequately express my appreciation for their many kindnesses. Jim will be missed.
— Peter & Katrina Pelkey
My first day on Wurtsmith as a young engineer wet behind the ears in 1982 when I was interviewing for a job, I met Mr. Russo, he was an impressive giant of a man (not just because he was a burly man but because he had a giant presence about him) , and when I shook his hand, it was like shaking a bear paw. I got to know him much better over the next 10 years plus or minus working two rungs under him in CE and my impression of him only got better. He was smart, humorous, quick witted, but the most impressive was his humility. I never told this to anyone, but I must admit, he was probably the only professional role model I ever had in my life. God Bless you Mr. Russo and your loved ones who are no doubt going to miss you dearly for a long time, and may you rest in peace.
— Paul Rekowski
My deepest condolences to the entire Russo family
— Frank Mahon
I have admired the entire Russo family. One memory is a CE camping trip to "Hoeft" park north on US 23 in the late 70's. I remember one or both boys wearing T-shirts that advised us..." to avoid eating yellow snow!" Jim's humor had already moved over to the children! I thought that Jim could have been a stand-up comedian as well as the best civil engineer in our area! If you noticed Jim wearing Mickey Mouse Eats hat....while on the telephone....it signaled that he was discussing options with SAC Headquarters! Once there was an engineer who suffered from a type of break down. Jim stepped in gently and handled the situation with such humanity. Later, the man stated with awe that Jim was "his friend." Jim and Roseann were so comfortable to be with and friendship was so easy and natural. Jim's presence and his stability to our community will be greatly missed. Rest in peace. We have lost a great man who lived his Christianity. May his family be comforted.
— Barbara M. Wesselhoeft

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