Ray Russo of Summerfield and Melbourne, Florida died on Thursday, June 15, 2017. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised as an only child. A graduate of Manual High School in Brooklyn, he subsequently was drafted and served in the Army during the Korean War.
After the Army, Ray was employed by Grumman in Bethpage, NY and transferred to Cape Canaveral, FL where he was selected to work on numerous Apollo Programs. His favorite was with Apollo 11, responsible for the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), the vehicle that carried the astronauts on the first man moon landing and safely returned them to earth. Ray was involved with all phases of the LEM Program as he carried out a family tradition employed by Grumman following his two favorite uncles, Charlie and Louie over 107 years of combined dedicated service.
At the end of the LEM Program, Ray transferred back to Long Island and continued on the A-6 Program as a Program Manager and subsequently the Joint Stars Program in Melbourne, Florida. It was there he retired after a successful 37 year career with Grumman. Ray earned numerous accolades and awards while employed by Grumman. They use to call Ray, “By the Book Ray”. Ray was always so proud of all his memorabilia he would love to show everyone.
Ray is survived by his 3 daughters, Dee, Sue and Diane who all love him very much. Ray was a devout Catholic who loved Florida and playing golf. He will be always loved and dearly missed. Surrounded by God and all his favorite angels Ray would say, “Swing Easy” and “Be Happy”. May he rest in peace.