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John Joseph Russell

September 24, 1935 - April 18, 2021

In memory of John Joseph (Russ) Russell, whose spirit entered the heavenly garden on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

Russ was born on September 24, 1935 in New York City to Harry and Peggy Russell. A self-made man, Russ joined the Air Force at age 18 and became a member of New York City’s Finest in 1963. Russ married the love of his life, Dorothy (Dotty) Breen in 1960, and they created a family with their two daughters, Kathleen and Kelly. Russ and Dotty spent their lives in Ozone Park, Queens, West Hempstead, NY, Tucson, and, for the last 20 years, Wilmington, NC. Besides serving the New York City Police Department proudly for 21 years, Russ loved gardening, fishing, flying planes, enjoying family and friends, telling corny jokes, and watching Westerns.

Russ is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dotty, and daughters Kathleen Laverty (Steven) and Kelly DeSensi (Joseph). He was pre-deceased by his parents, Henry and Margaret, brother Henry (Hank), and son Michael.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

The family is requesting that any donations be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation 1414 Physicians Drive Wilmington, NC 28401.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below, also view the “VIDEO TRIBUTE” below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099

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What our families say...

“Michael Gubista took over the care of my husband and oversaw all of the services. He explained everything thoroughly and he even added some personal touches of his own and welcomed all the attendees that were very meaningful and thoughtful. He really listened to me and provided excellent support at an extremely difficult time.” – Barbara L.


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