A milestone birthday celebrated

Ella Russo, who turned 100 on Dec. 22, is shown with middle daughter, Carole Vosburgh, on Dec. 18 during a November-December birthdays celebration at River Ridge Living Center in Amsterdam. (Photo submitted)

AMSTERDAM — A resident of River Ridge Living Center is being feted for reaching a milestone — 100 years.

Ella Russo, formerly of Ephratah and Johnstown, was among residents with November-December birthdays celebrated by staff on Dec. 18; participated in a Dec. 20 Christmas party, with special mention; and is slated for a family birthday party on Saturday.

“She was tickled that the staff did so much for her,” said her middle daughter, Carole Vosburgh.

“She can’t believe she actually made it to 100, and she’s enjoying her life.”

Russo was born on Dec. 22, 1918, to Hungarian parents in Bridgeport, Conn. The family moved to Ephratah when she was a little girl where her father had a farm with animals and worked in a stone quarry.

At 18 she met Santo Russo at a party, and after meeting him again, they married when she was 19. She worked in a knitting mills at the time.

They had three daughters, Velma, the oldest; then Carole; and finally Sharon.

Russo worked in a glove shop all her life, retiring at 65 when the shop closed. At 49 her husband died.

Russo lived in Johnstown and moved to River Ridge at the age of 99.

She liked casinos and gambling, westerns and the Andy Griffith how.

Reading is her passion. “She reads every night before she goes to bed,” with a preference for mysteries and romance, said Vosburgh.

Stephanie Perillo, River Ridge activities director, said Russo is “a happy person.” “She doesn’t feel 100—she’s a vibrant person.”

She’s very busy. She loves to have conversations, and she loves her coffee.”

By Josh Bovee

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