Life Story: Carmela Russo, 94; Township Teacher, Helped Start Early Girl Scout Troop

Carmela “Millie” G. Russo, 94, died October 3 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Mrs. Russo was born May 21, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York to the late Vito and Angela (Macacuso) Galatioto. She lived in West Palm Beach and was previously from Somerset.

Mrs. Russo received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hunter College in New York City, Her M.E.D. from Rutgers University, and her reading certificate from the State of New Jersey. She was a lifelong member of the National Education Association, the NJ Education Association and the NJ Retired Education Association.

Mrs. Russo was an elementary teacher specializing in reading and language arts for both the talented and remedial students in  Franklin Township for 25 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Girls and Boys Scouts of America in the interracial service and was one of the founders of the first Girl Scout troops in Somerset.

She was active in affirmative action and reading committees at her school. Carmela also played a large role in the committee to aid children with learning disabilities and was a member of the child study team. She organized many workshops for parents explaining both the reading and teaching programs of the district. She was the first to do an item analysis of the state minimum basic skills test, so that teachers could adjust their curriculum to the strength and weakness of the students. Carmela was also in the NJ Council of the International Reading Association, for which she was a president. She attended many of the Board of Education meetings; through her efforts the board passed a policy honoring all of the staff, retirees and deceased members.

Mrs. Russo was predeceased by her husband, Santo Russo; and her brothers, Natale Galatioto and Santo Galatioto.

She is survived by her daughter, Madeleine Christian; her sons, Michael and Vito Russo; her sister, Emily Caronia; her grandchildren, Albert III, Amanda, Christina; and her great-granddaughter D’Amoura McPherson.

Family and friends may visit from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 7 at Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton St.

Funeral Mass will be held 9 a.m. Oct. 8 at St. Matthias Church in Somerset. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Piscataway.


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