John Joseph ‘Russ’ Russell, 85, proudly served with NYPD for 21 years

John Joseph ‘Russ’ Russell

WILMINGTON — In memory of John Joseph “Russ” Russell, 85, whose spirit entered the heavenly garden on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

Russ was born Sept. 24, 1935, in New York City to Harry and Peggy Russell. A self-made man, Russ joined the U.S. 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, New York; Tucson; and, for the last 20 years, Wilmington. 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 preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Margaret; brother, Henry (Hank); and son, Michael.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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

Share online condolences with the family at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation.

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