Dr. Joseph P. Russo, 72

Jan 13, 2021 by

Longtime Wakefield dentist, sports aficionado

Published January 13, 2021

WAKEFIELD — It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. Joseph P. Russo, 72, of Andover announce his passing on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, at Lahey Hospital in Burlington from complications due to COVID-19.

Born on Jan. 13, 1948, in Revere to Edith (Panaro) and Salvatore Russo, Joe lived in Revere until he completed first grade, when the family moved to Wakefield. Educated in Wakefield, Joe was elected to the National Honor Society and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1965.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Boston College in 1969 and continued his education at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore, earning the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1973. Joseph operated his dental practice, Joseph P. Russo, D.D.S., in Wakefield for over 45 years and continued to work until his untimely passing.

An avid sports fan and a lifelong true “diehard” fan of the Boston Red Sox and N.E. Patriots, Joe enjoyed golf and was a member of Haverhill Country Club for more than 30 years. Joe traveled frequently throughout the U.S. and Europe with family and friends. In his spare time, he tended to gardens and was renowned for his yearly display of spectacular flower boxes, which he exhibited with pride. Joe loved hosting parties for family and friends and did so often and with pure joy.

He truly loved life to the fullest through simple pleasures — being with family and friends. Many of Joe’s friendships span over 40 years. Joe will be remembered for his unfailing work ethic, his genuine smile, his generous personality, his contagious laugh and his willingness to come to the aid of family and friends for any reason.

Joe’s memory will be cherished and kept alive by his loving wife Cynthia J. Aziz Russo of Andover; and his children Amy Russo and Mark Russo, both of Salisbury; his stepchildren Jeffrey Pepe and his fiancee Christina Leighton of Hudson, N.H. and Jordyn Curcio and her husband Frank of North Andover.

“Grampa” and “Papa Joe” will be dearly missed by his five grandchildren, Theodore (T.J.), Joey, Alexis, Alina and Cecelia; and will be lovingly remembered by his brothers Edward Russo and his wife Sharon of Gloucester (formerly of Wakefield), and Dr. Thomas Russo and his wife Cathy of Wakefield; as well as his father-in-law Richard E. Aziz, Sr. of Methuen, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Jennifer and William Kannan of Methuen, Richard and Patricia Aziz of Methuen, and Jason and Brenda Aziz of Auburn, N.H.; numerous nieces and nephews; plus his many dear friends and loyal patients. In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his beloved son, Joseph S. Russo.

The family is especially grateful to the medical staff at the ICU Unit of Lahey Hospital for their support given to the family as well as their selfless efforts and tender care given to Joe during his sudden illness.

Services were private. A “Celebration of Joe’s Life” will be held at a later date, as per Joe’s wishes.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute/memorial donation to causes that were near and dear to Joe’s heart — Bread and Roses, 58 Newbury St., Lawrence, MA 01840  (website breadandroseslawrence.org; or St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 (website stjude.org.

Arrangements were handled by Carrier Family Funeral Home, 38 Range Rd., Windham, NH 03087. To leave a message of condolence, please visit www.carrierfuneralhome.com.

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