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Jewell Russo


Longtime member Jewell Russo passed away on April 25 at the age of 83. West Side truly was Jewell's family. She was a beloved member of the choir, served as moderator of the Deacons and was a key volunteer in the office. Despite the fact that she suffered great losses in her life, including the death of her two children, Jewell's resiliency, sense of humor and service to others was an inspiration. 

17 Comments

Pat McGlade on April 27, 2020 2:17pm

Jewell was a welcoming presence at West Side. Making baby blankets, caring for children in the nursery and remembering so many with her gifts of love, Jewell was the happiest when sharing a bit of herself with others. I was honored to companion Jewell through both her grief and her joys. I will miss her smile and presence in my life.

Barbara A Bolger on April 27, 2020 3:09pm

Jewell and her then husband, Joe, were the Confirmation Class leaders for my son J.T.'s class. They were wonderful and made a real difference in my son's life. She and I shared many a memory and chuckle through the years. A very special woman.

Kaylin Milazzo on April 27, 2020 3:30pm

When I first started working at West Side in 2010 I was nervous and felt in over my head. Jewell was a frequent and always friendly presence in the office. I loved having lunch with her, talking about the day and hearing her stories. She was quick to offer to help, and I hope she knew that her presence, kindness and good humor were even more valuable than her talent for unsticking the stamp machine or expertly stuffing envelopes. She made me feel more at home, and I'll always be grateful to her for that. I know she will be missed by many at West Side and beyond.

Lisa C Hahn on April 27, 2020 3:39pm

Oh, such a sweet and pleasant, happy lady. I saw her frequently at church - and on days other than Sunday worship! Heaven is gaining too many of our West Side angels. We will miss her so much.

Diane Day Haase on April 27, 2020 3:48pm

It was always a joy when Jewel joined us at Feisty Ladies. Her blankets were very dear, and she made many to the delight of the parents of newborn children. We enjoyed her stories, happy, funny stories. She was a gift.

Brian Hanse on April 27, 2020 4:00pm

So sorry to lose you. Glad we had wonderful conversations together. You will be missed.

Beth Staples on April 27, 2020 4:10pm

I loved sitting in front of Jewell in choir. She would comment on everything. She loved the choir and missed it greatly. We will all miss her.

John Hahn on April 27, 2020 4:30pm

She was the Jewell of West Side. When I encountered her she was always positive and upbeat. I enjoyed her friendship. I enjoyed our time together. We were lucky to have her with us as long as we did. Seeing her photo made me smile again. Rest in Peace, dear friend.

Anita M. Jones on April 27, 2020 4:43pm

Jewell always told me that the church was her family. She enjoyed the choir and Feisty Ladies. Every time she saw me she always had a smile. May she be at peace with God, whom she loved.

Anonymous on April 27, 2020 6:09pm

Dear Jewell, we had a thing going. She always looked for me in my pew at church and I looked for her in the choir. We had lunch together on birthdays and even sang Christmas carols together in Ridgewood. I visited her in several places once she could no longer live on her own. I am so sad, but know that she is now at peace.

Marc Oehler on April 28, 2020 5:57am

Jewell had a big heart. She spoke her mind. She was an incredibly hard worker. She suffered great loss in her life - unimaginable loss. i buried her son Bill. These losses devastated her, but she pressed on...and deepened her love of and appreciation for children. She loved West Side and we loved her. i/we will miss her.

Aimee Spiegel on April 28, 2020 11:14am

Jewell was a special lady. I loved sitting with her and singing with her in the alto section of the choir. She would tell me all the time how much I reminded her of my grandmother, whom she had a friendship with for many years in that same alto section. We will all miss Jewell deeply, but I am uplifted to know she is in Heaven with her beautiful family who she missed so deeply, and with the Lord. God bless!

Pam Welch on May 1, 2020 8:02pm

I have known Jewell for many years when Joe and Jewel were active with the Deacons. She was quite a leader and model for other Christians. In later years, Sue Fiocchi and I would meet Jewell for lunch at the Panera in Fair Lawn or at Nellie's for pizza. We finally had to meet at the Panera in Fair Lawn because she could not remember where we were going. She would call me back 3 times to either confirm the date, time or day. I finally said let’s go to our usual place. She would say oh ok I do know where we are going. She never missed our lunch dates. We spent many hours talking about her mother, sons and many other tragedies in her life. I do not know how she ever survived everything. Over the years I have secretly adopted Jewell as my Mother since I lost mine over 30 years ago. Rest In Peace, Jewell, with our Lord Jesus and all family members.

Joe Russo on May 3, 2020 7:49pm

I remember back to a Jewell before we were married. Back to 1972, when she and her mother, Marion, and her sons Bill and Michael, then in their teens, shared a home in Englewood, NJ - a Jewell who was so full of life and pure joy. The tragic loss of her son, Michael, in 1976 was the beginning of her sorrow, a sorrow no mother should have to bear. Our conversations over the last several years were about memories and the restless search for a peace she could not find. I believe she has at last found the peace for which, as a mother, she so desperately longed, to at last be home with her sons.

Audrey Van Ness on May 7, 2020 6:57pm

I was so surprised and shocked to hear that Jewell passed away. The last time I saw her was in the nursing home where she stayed. I went with my mom, and thankfully she still remembered us. Jewell was very loving to me, and she always remembered to give me a small candy or a gift when she saw me. She was like a grandmother to me. Jewell was there even for my first birthday party and baptism. I couldn't believe that she went through all of that suffering without a family, but she had us as her family that she loved dearly. I will definitely miss her.

Nikki & Rodney Walker on May 8, 2020 8:43am

We were so sad to hear that Jewell passed away. We lived in the same apartment complex as Jewell, before she went to the nursing home. She was so loving to us, we shared many Christmas days together and we loved her like a grandmother. We will miss her. Jewell, may your soul rest in eternal peace.

Scott Smith on May 8, 2020 12:41pm

I loved Jewell. We had many dealings over the years. In particular, I remember she frequently sat in front of me at choir rehearsal, where we shared much mirth and laughter. Joanne and Debbi would have to remind us to return our focus to the music. And then add David Tait or David Osgood into the mix, and well .... it was a party. I remember the sparkle in her eye.

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