JoAnn Elizabeth Russo, wife of the late Robert Francis Russo, died peacefully on August 4th, 2022, surrounded by family at the Fairhaven Nursing Center in Sykesville, MD.
She was the devoted daughter of the late Rosemary and Thor Skonnord; the beloved mother to Robert Russo, Lisa (Russo) Christel, Mark Russo and Christopher Russo; and the beloved grandmother to John Christel, Robert Christel, Nicholas Russo, Nora Russo, Megan Russo, Vincent Russo and "Frankie" Robert Francis Russo.
In her early 20's, JoAnn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor's Degree in Science and Registry in Occupational Therapy. After taking a year to backpack around Europe, she then devoted her professional career to serving others, working as an occupational therapist for the next 40 years until her retirement in 1997. While working and raising her family, she obtained 2 additional Masters degrees: from the University of Maryland in 1986 (Human Development) and from The Johns Hopkins University in 1992 (Administrative Science).
JoAnn was dedicated to her Catholic faith, multi-talented, and passionate about her interests which included gardening, genealogy, photography, ceramics, and travel. Over the years, she bonded with her children and grandchildren, sharing her enthusiasm and imparting her knowledge about these subjects. She was an active and involved parishioner and volunteer at St. Alphonsus Church for decades, spent years singing in the Columbia Pro Cantare and Church Choir, was a Master Gardener, volunteering her time at the Howard County Conservancy, and was a member of many different committees at Fairhaven Retirement Community.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Rd, Woodstock, MD 21163, to benefit their Master Gardener historic vegetable garden in JoAnn's honor. Viewing will be held on Friday, August 19th from 6-8 PM at Harry H. Witzke's Family Funeral Home in Ellicott City and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 20th at 11 a.m. at St. Alphonsus Church in Woodstock, MD.
Howard County Conservancy
10520 Old Frederick Rd., Woodstock MD 21163