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John Frank Russalesi
March 26, 1947 ~ December 1, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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Jack Russalesi passed away on December 1, 2023, at age 76, after a long battle with Parkinson’s and other serious health problems He was born in Binghamton, New York, grew up in New York and spent summers on the Jersey Shore working in a seafood restaurant.
In his early life, at age 20 Jack joined the Navy and served in the Vietnam War. He and his team were captured, and he spent approximately 8 months as a POW. He was involved with the medical team in his Navy years.
Jack married his first wife Linda and they moved to Wyoming. He worked as a journalist, photographer, radio broadcaster, and was involved with the emergency rescue team in Wyoming.
After their divorce Jack moved to Colorado and settled in Idaho Springs. He married his present wife, Sandy, in 1987, and they established a local newspaper, the Mountain Messenger, which they published weekly for 15 years.
During his lifetime he had a passion for helping people. He worked as a paramedic at ambulance companies and served on the volunteer ambulance and fire services in Clear Creek County.
His other passion was helping make a difference for people who were struggling financially. He was a manager at Colorado Coalition for the Homeless for several years. After finishing his college education, he went to work as the City Manager in Idaho Springs and later worked as City Manager for Lochbuie, Colorado.
He was devoted to the Lions Club and, as District 6C Chairman he represented the club in the International Conference in Japan and in other places. He continued his work with Lions Club until the day he died. He worked tirelessly on the club’s Kid Sight program, going to schools with other volunteers frequently to test vision in young children. He was a wonderful cook and the whole family gathered to eat his amazing Italian cooking. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, 4 stepchildren-Danny, Jeff, Juli and Kristyn-and 2 biological children-John and Gina.