Sr. Irene Russo, SCGR age 86, was born on December 25th, 1936, in Buscemi Italy, Sicily, daughter of the late Vincenzo and Anna Maria (Puglisi) Russo. Sr. Irene passed away on Wednesday January 18th at Our Lady of Peace.
Sr. Irene worked diligently here in the United States, acquiring her master’s degree in education, and dedicating her life teaching remedial reading to children and adults. In 1976 she became the first Principal of Sacred Heart Villa School and directed the school with joy and enthusiasm. In the eighties with the help of Fr. Zocco, she opened a house and a daycare in Connecticut working hard as always, to continue the mission of our Blessed Maria Schinina.
In the late eighties, she went to Nigeria with the desire to open a house and in 1990, we had the joy to welcome Sr. Irene, along with four Nigerian young women to join our congregation, becoming the first fruit of her untiring mission. She worked selflessly for 17 years in Nigeria where she succeeded in opening a house of formation which today has produced many Nigerian and Kenya sisters. During her 17 years of service in Nigeria, Sr. Irene was also able to open a youth center, a health care clinic for the poor, a Nursery, Primary, Middle and high school.
Sr. Irene is survived by her sister Maria Russo, her nephews Salvino Pisasale and Edoardo Russo, her nieces Paola Pisasale, Laura Russo, Miriam Russo, great-nephews Giovanni Russo, Lorenzo and Alessandro Terranova and a great-niece Stella Murru.
Visitation will be on Saturday Jan. 21st from 10-11AM at St. Bernard RC Church, 218 Hinman Street, Youngstown NY. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11AM.
Interment in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to Sacred Heart Villa School, 5269 Lewiston Rd. Lewiston, NY 14092.