She was born to Anthony and Carolina Monti Pagana on May 15, 1921, and lived the first 82 years of her life in Pompton Lakes, N.J. She married her childhood sweetheart, Frank Russo, in 1940 and they shared 60 happy years together. They had two children, Robert and Diane, who were the loves of their lives.
Anna was a homemaker until her children were in high school, and then she took on her second job in the shipping department of National Beryllia Corporation. She was proud of the fact that by the time of her retirement, she was the department manager.
Anna’s real pride and joy in life were her children and family. In 2002 she moved to Cody to be near her daughter. She grew to love the West, thanks in large part to the many wonderful, caring friends she made in Cody.
Those who knew Anna will remember her love of children, her trying to make everyone laugh, and her trying to feed everyone who visited her. Emily Blair and her daycare children adopted her as their “Grandma Anna.”
Anna is survived by her daughter Diane (Jim) Blakeslee of Cody; grandchildren Janine Presloid of Downingtown, Pa. and Mark Russo of St. Paul, Minn., great-grandsons Robbie, Winter and Merrik; numerous nieces and nephews, and her “adopted” daughter, Sherry Fessler of Kannapolis, N.C.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank, son Robert, her parents, and three brothers, Michael, Russell and infant Joseph Pagana.
Memorial donations can be made to Spirit Mountain Hospice House or St. Jude’s Hospital for Children.
Visitation will be at Ballard Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2. Mass of Christian Burial will be at the Church of St. Anthony at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, with cremation to follow. Anna will be interred in New Jersey at a later date.
An online memorial is available at www.ballardfh.com.