Russell John Cerminaro, Sr., 91, passed on Monday, February 28, 2022, at his home, with his loving family by his side.
Russ was born in Utica, January 10, 1931, a son of the late Michael and Adeline (Fluida) Cerminaro. He was raised in East Utica and a graduate of TR Proctor High School, class of 1949. On July 26, 1950, Russ entered the US Navy, serving four years in the Korean War on the US LST 855. He was a highly decorated serviceman and awarded many honors, including the National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, 5 Star Korean Service Medal, and the Purple Heart. He was honored to have served his country during the time of war. On September 2, 1957, Russ married the love of his life, the former Nancy Gazzal, sharing 57 loving years dedicating their lives to their family, extended family, and sharing in many happy memories, until her passing on November 30, 2013.
He served in many professional and service organizations working tirelessly until his retirement from Suttle Apparatus, in 2002. Russ was a man of many talents, from automotive repair to politics. He was a coach and mentor to many young men as one of the founding fathers of Utica Pop Warner Football. As the family patriarch, his guidance and wisdom was always sought. His greatest accomplishment was being a proud grandfather and attending all of his grandchildren’s events, including dance recitals, football games, marching band, and the Boilermaker, to name a few.
He is survived by his beloved children, Evelyn Aiello (Joseph Aiello), Michael Cerminaro (MaryRose (DeSantis) Cerminaro), Russell Cerminaro Jr. (David Adams), and John Cerminaro (Nakia Banister); his cherished grandchildren, Christina Aiello (fiancée, Anthony “Tony” LaPolla), Alexa Aiello (Richard “Stevie” Lange), Nina and Sophia Cerminaro, and Alec, Russell (Victoria Vuoso), and Marcus Cerminaro; brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Janet Cerminaro; and brother-in-law, George Gazzal. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their families, all of whom he watched over like his own children. Russ was predeceased by his infant granddaughter, Mia Francesca Cerminaro; his brothers, Michael and Cesare “Chet” Cerminaro; a sister, Lucille Grabowski; his in-laws, Kathryn (Kay) Cerminaro, Donald Grabowski, Habib and Maroom Gazzal, Anthony and Helen Gazzal, Evelyn (Mellie) Gazzal, Joseph and Delphine Gazzal, and Lena (Lomanto) Gazzal; and nephew, John Gazzal.
Russ leaves many close friends including, Bob Schneider, Tom Marotta, Eddie Casper, and Virginia (Bee) Esposito, all of whom he loved dearly. The family would like to thank his Tuesday night Prayer Group at Patty and Jimmy Salerno’s home, which he attended with his granddaughter Christina, for all of their special healing prayers. A special thank you to Dr. Anthony Scalzo, and his team at Hematology and Oncology of CNY, Dr. Phil Fraccola, and Dr. Naji ElKoury, with whom Russ had a special relationship.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, March 7, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish. This service will be live streamed at:
Private entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum. Due to current family health concerns, the family will not receive guests after funeral services. Your continued prayers and support are of great comfort to them.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Russell’s memory to Central New York Veteran’s Outreach Center. Envelopes will be available at church.
There is a prayer that says: the only way any of us ever achieve immortality is by living on in the hearts of those who love us and the thoughts of those who remember us. Russ will forever be remembered.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Russell Cerminaro Sr., please visit our floral store.
Central New York Veterans Outreach Center
726 Washington Street, Utica, New York NY 13502