Thursday, September 11, 2008
Rosario (Russ) Musarra
Russ Musarra passed away September 9, 2008.
He was born in Akron Ohio on April 4, 1924. Russ started playing the accordion at 6 years old and at nine years old he played on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour. At 16 he was playing at the Red, White and Blue nightclub and the Back Stage Bar, from then on he never stopped playing music.
He served in the U.S. Army in World War II for 2 years. In 1946, at the age of 22, he opened the Kent Music Store, he did so well that in 1950, he opened the Akron Accordion Center at Mill and Howard Street. He sold accordions and guitars plus many other musical instruments. He then went on to teaching music with Gordon Shaffer, Jake Campisi and Bob Lowe. Again, he did so well that he opened up "The House of Piano and Organs" on South Arlington Street in Green. While he had this business, he received many awards from the Kimble and Thomas Organ Companies for selling the most pianos and organs. He loved to travel and in 1979 he decided to retire so he could travel even more. He never lost his love for music and after sitting in on a "Jam" session with Gordon Shaffer at the Hibernian Club, he decided to get back into music. He started a band called the "Music Makers", where they played for weddings and ballroom dancing events in the Akron, Canton and Cleveland areas. He also would "stroll" in nursing homes and small events with Joe McIntyre playing the violin and Russ playing the accordion. He became ill and had to give up playing his music but never lost his love of it.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Natale (Nick) Musarra; his brother, Louis; nephew, David; and wife of 35 years, Margaret. He is survived by his devoted wife of 3½;years, Leah; and their son, Mark (Becky); grandchildren, Donald, Christopher, Eric, Greg, Heather and Jessica; his sister, Bess (Phil) Ratcliff and their two daughters, Phyllis (Neil) Dinkins and Terry Thomas, as well as, four great grandchildren and many other nieces and nephews.
A big thank you to Mae and Bill Kennedy for all their support here at home and in Florida and also everyone on the 5th floor at Barberton Citizens Hospital for their wonderful and caring support of Russ and his family members. Their kindness will never be forgotten.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Paul's Catholic Church 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. Calling hours will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Road, Fairlawn, OH 44333.
[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH,Thursday, September 11, 2008, page B7, col. 1]