Jerry Russomanno, age 96, passed away surrounded by loved ones at Beth Israel Hospital, Newark, N.J., on Friday, March 16, 2018.Jerry was born January 16, 1922, in Newark, N.J., to Lawrence and Marie Russomanno and grew up in the now vanished First Ward, Newark’s Little Italy. In his early years, he traveled the Pacific Northwest while employed with the Civil Conservation Corp prior to being enlisted in the Army in1942. He served with distinction in the Pacific during WWII and was honorably discharged in 1946. During his service he also enjoyed sharing his talent for the stage by entertaining the troops and volunteering with Bob Hope’s USO show. Jerry met his wife Clare while both performing at the Hour Glass Night Club in Newark, N.J. They were married in 1952 and settled in Irvington, N.J., to raise a family. Jerry was a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and grandfather. He was also a well-liked and respected public figure in the late 1960’s. An Essex County Committee man, he started and led the “Drugs are a Drag” campaign. Jerry served as president of the Irvington Police Athletic League (PAL) Father’s Club. He established the PAL Boxing Club and volunteered his time with the National Championship PAL Colts. Along with his wife Clare, he was very active with the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA). The two combined their theatrical and musical talents to produce and direct the Irvington High School PTA talent shows and the Essex County Beauty Pageant. He spent most of his career as an award winning kitchen designer and leading sales rep for Hasco Building Products, Inc. He was widely known and valued by home builders and remodelers throughout the industry.
Jerry was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Lawrence, his brother in-law and sister Anthony and Grace Cocuzza; and his brother in-law and sister, Anthony and Elizabeth Mita. Jerry is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Mary Clare (Myers) Russomanno; devoted children, Yvonne, Mark, and Charles; and his cherished grandchildren, Sean, Conor, and Alexander. He also leaves his loving sister, Lucille Pacchia, and brother, Anthony Russomanno. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, extended relatives and friends.
Jerry was a pillar of strength, hope, and guidance for everyone who knew him. He will be missed by his entire family.