We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Dapson Chestney Funeral Home
Mary M. Russo, 88, of Rhinebeck NY, died peacefully in her sleep at her home on June 24, 2022. Born July 2, 1933, Midge was the daughter of John and Mary Hart Myler. Along with her older brother, Charlie, she grew up in Ottawa, IL and was nicknamed “Midge” by her father for her petite stature. Sadly, Midge lost both her beloved parents by the time she was 21.
Midge graduated from St. Mary’s College in 1954 with a BA in English/Journalism. After graduation, she worked as a newspaper reporter at LaSalle News Tribune in Ottawa, a notable accomplishment given there weren’t many women in this traditionally male-dominated field. As a small-town reporter, Midge was also the editor and photographer for her stories.
Midge had a great sense of adventure, with one of her fondest memories being an epic trip to Europe with her best friend, Joan Rossi.
Midge met her future husband, Rocco Russo, at a square dance in Streator, IL. He was conspicuously dressed in his “southern gentleman” attire, wearing dress pants and a white shirt instead of western wear. Midge and Rocco married on June 20, 1959 at St. Patrick’s Church in Ottawa, IL, and enjoyed 42 years of marriage. The strength of their genuine devotion and commitment to one another was a gift to all who knew and loved them.
Midge was a dedicated and caring mother of six. She and Rocco raised a loving, close-knit family whose devotion to one another continues to this day. She demonstrated unconditional love to her family in both large and small ways: as a tireless volunteer, chauffeur, homework tutor, chef and “project manager.” Midge made daily life, birthdays and holidays (Christmas being her favorite) very special, creating lasting memories for her six children. She was a voracious reader, often getting lost for hours in whatever book she might be reading. In addition to her love for reading, Midge passed along her love for learning, her curiosity and her inquisitiveness to her children and grandchildren
Midge returned to work at the Greenwich CT library when her youngest child reached high school. When Midge and Rocco moved to Virginia Beach in 1988, she worked for many years at the US Court Library in Norfolk before her retirement.
Midge and Rocco moved 10 times together, including Jacksonville FL, Winona MN, St. Paul MN, Naperville IL, Temple Terrace FL, Stamford CT, and Virginia Beach VA. After Rocco passed away, Midge settled in Rhinebeck, NY, where she remained until her passing.
Midge is survived by her 6 children: Chuck (Patti), Mary Jo Henke (Ed), John (Marci), Tom (Diane), Pat (Joan) and Anthony (Carole), and 18 grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Rocco in 2001.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to FrancisHouseChicago.com or Wilderstein.org.
Calling hours Tuesday, June 28, 4:00 to 7:00 PM, at the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, 51 W. Market St., Rhinebeck. Prayers will be offered at 6:45 PM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, 10:00 AM, at the Good Shepherd Church, 3 Msgr. Joy Plaza, Rhinebeck.
Interment will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia. A visitation service from 1:00-2:00 PM will precede the burial on Friday, July 1 at HD Oliver Funeral Apartments, Colonial Ave., Norfolk, VA.