Jun 21, 2012
By Amanda Mayo
Steven S. Russo, a longtime resident of The Five Towns, passed away on May 30 after a long battle with cancer. He was 59.
Russo was born in Brooklyn on September 6, 1952. In 1958 his family moved to The Five Towns and he graduated from George W. Hewlett High School in 1970. Russo went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from C.W. Post in 1975. Upon graduating, Russo started teaching in the Valley Stream Union Free School District and for the private school district of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
“He loved music, he was a musician,” Marc Russo, Steven’s brother, said. “He used to teach English and music, and he also gave private music lessons.” Marc said his brother played drums, keyboard and guitar and played in a number of local area bands throughout the years.
“He was very dedicated to his students and had very good relationships with them and their parents,” Marc said. Steven started teaching in public and private schools in the 1980s all the way up until a few years ago. He also gave private music lessons for much of his life.
“He was very musically talented,” Marc said. “He started with rock music and progressed more into jazz.” Marc said his brother was a member of the TriBattery Pops in Manhattan where he played the drums. The band is an all-volunteer community band that plays “classics from Sousa to Gaga” and had a performance recognized by The New York Times last year that was labeled as “robustly rhythmic.”
“He was a very independent person,” Marc recalls of his brother. “He had viewpoints that really were original, never part of a category.” The TriBattery Pops labeled Steven as “a real hipster who understood and guided us.” Steven was also a member of the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst.
Steven is survived by his father, Samuel and his brothers Marc and Alan. Services were held at Boulevard-Riverside Chapels in Hewlett on June 1.
About the Author: