Bernard “Bernie” Russo, born to the late Sam and Esther Russo on April 23, 1932, in Brooklyn, N.Y., passed away Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016.
Bernie moved from Brooklyn, where he was a kosher butcher, to Atlanta in July 1969 to open Paraphanalia in Phipps Plaza. When he closed that store, he went back to being a kosher butcher and ran Bernie’s Kosher Meats from 1980 to 1984. He went into the vending machine business for a short time, then car seat repairs, before retiring in 2003. A dedicated member of Congregation Or VeShalom since 1969, Bernie led morning Zemirot and stood in for Rabbi Robert Ichay when he was out of town. To many members he was known as “the voice” of Or VeShalom, as he could be heard throughout the synagogue.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Matthew, and is survived by his wife, Saundra Friedman Russo; sons Michael and Meryl Russo of Los Angeles and Steve and Holly Young Russo of Atlanta; daughter Ester Russo of Jerusalem and Atlanta; Saundra’s son, Stuart, and Liza Cristol-Deman of Moss Beach, Calif.; 17 grandchildren in America and Israel; 12 great-grandchildren in Jerusalem; sister Celia Silfen; his first wife and her husband, Evelyn and Doug Miller; mother-in-law Gert Friedman; sister- and brother-in-law Jill and Yossi Ovadia; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and many loving friends. Bernie will be deeply missed but forever loved and cherished by family and friends.
Sign the online guestbook at www.edressler.com. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at Greenwood Cemetery with Rabbi Hayyim Kassorla officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Georgia, Weinstein Hospice, Congregation Or VeShalom or the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.