Marty Russo

Marty Russo

January 17, 1936 - February 04, 2009

Marty Russo

January 17, 1936 - February 04, 2009


Martin Gregory Russo

Martin Gregory ‘Marty’ Russo passed away on February 4, 2009. He was born in New York City on January 17th, 1936 to Marguerite Jean and John Russo. He spent his childhood in Hillsdale, NJ until he left for the Carolinas, California, Japan and Korea where he served in the US Marine Corps. Marty studied Art at The New York Phoenix School of Design, Pratt Institute NYNY, Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles and graduated from CSU Fullerton with a BA in Geography.

In September 1958, he departed New Jersey on his honeymoon with his bride Peggy Erdman and traveled to Orange County, California where he remained to raise a family, build a career and enjoy a great community of friends. He began his drafting career with The City of Santa Ana and soon thereafter joined a small group of young people venturing to develop the planned community of Mission Viejo. He served as Director of Community Services at The Mission Viejo Company and retired after 30 years. His involvement in the community extended beyond his professional role as demonstrated by his long and enthusiastic participation in the MV Activities Committee and his residence in Mission Viejo for over 40 years. His second career was born of his passion for woodworking when he began a small enterprise designing, building, refurbishing and refinishing furniture. His woodwork gave him great joy and an outlet for his artist gifts. He returned often to New Jersey to enjoy family, dear friends and his love of the woods.

Marty was an avid Angels baseball fan, birdwatcher and fisherman. He loved Jazz, chocolate, MGD and swimming in the Pacific. Marty was a proud Marine and patriot. He was deliberate and discerning, hardworking and persistent.

Marty is survived by his wife of fifty years, Peggy; his daughters, Gail Russo-Larsson and Jill Russo Bergman and their spouses Theo and Michael respectively; his grandchildren, Nicolas, Mattias, Liliana and William; his sister Jean Hartwick; 2 nieces and 2 nephews; sisters/brothers-in law, Mary and Harry Pantoja, John and Joan Erdman. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Donald.

A Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at noon at St. Killian’s Catholic Church, Mission Viejo. A Celebration of Life will follow at Lake Mission Viejo at 1:45 PM. Private interment at El Toro Memorial Park, Lake Forest. O’Connor Mortuary, Directors, 949-581-4300. Please Honor Marty’s life with a donation to The Leukemia/ Lymphoma Society or Operation Home Front.

Marty will be remembered for purposefulness, generosity and his silly grin.

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25 responses to Marty Russo

  1. Im very sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you.

  2. Rich Harris says:

    I am sorry for your loss.
    I feel that I have lost someone closer to me than a brother.
    In a recent conversation I said to Marty “The situation sucks.” He replied “It sure does, I am really going to miss Peg.”
    We have had many good times together. I wish I could calculate how much beer Marty and I have drunk together.

  3. Jill Snavely says:

    Peggy, please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your wonderful husband. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you. Jill & Roger

  4. Dearest Russo Family,
    Our prayers are with you at this very sad time…Losing such a wonderful husband, father and friend is so painful.

    We pray that the dark clouds clear and the memories of Marty warm your hearts.

    Eileen, Geoff, Robyn and Julia

  5. Dear Peg, Gail and Jill,

    I am so sorry for the death of Marty.

    He was a Wonderful Person.

    I miss Marty in my heart very much!

    I remember all the nice things he did for myself and Mary.

    I remember the college program I worked on with Marty’s assistance.

    Marty was right there to help Mary and myself with our first move. And he was always there anytime I asked for a favor.

    I remember all the donations he got for the paralyzed Veterans I was working with.

    I remember all of the Wonderful visits we had with you, Marty, Family and Friends. Yes Marty Always had a Warm Smile.

    Yes Peg, I loved and still do Love Marty and You Very Much! My heart aches for your loss. Our Loss

    With Much Love!


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