OCEAN CITY – The Russo family, local residents and members of the business community gathered at the City Council meeting Monday night to receive a plaque recognizing their generous contributions made to Ocean City through the Angelo Russo Memorial Dive Fund.
Four years after the death of their beloved son, brother and friend Angelo Russo, the Russo family and friends stood together, tearfully, accepting a plaque honoring the work that has been done in honor of Angelo. The plague recognizes the family’s support and donations to the Ocean City Dive Rescue Team.
On Aug. 20, 2003, Angelo Russo died in a diving accident offshore of Ocean City. At the time of the accident, the Ocean City Dive Rescue Unit was in its developmental stages and was not a part of the rescue efforts. The Millville Fire Department worked to locate Angelo but was unsuccessful. It wasn’t until several days later that Virginia Beach commercial diver Ted Greene was able to dive on a “target,” which was pinged by side-scan sonar and proved to be the body of the missing diver.
Angelo’s death was felt throughout the entire community, greatly impacting all those who knew and loved him. The Russos are long-time residents of Ocean City and well known in the business community. Through the efforts of the family and the community, Angelo’s name and impact will live on.
The Russo family owns several restaurants, including the popular and long-time Boardwalk restaurant Tony’s Pizza. Last year, the family opened Angelo’s Restaurant on 33rd Street, with Lisa Russo, Angelo’s sister, at the helm.
The restaurant’s website reads, “We are opening and operating this restaurant in memory of our son and brother Angelo, who we sadly lost in a diving accident at an early age. We dearly miss him and sincerely hope that this new restaurant becomes a favorite of yours in order to be a success in the honor of his name.”
The family has also established the Angelo Russo Memorial Dive Fund to assist in the development and implementation of local dive teams. The funds have primarily benefited the Ocean City Dive Rescue Unit with proceeds also being donated to the Millville Dive team.
The family was presented with a plaque on the four-year anniversary of Angelo’s death Monday. The plaque reads, “presented to the Russo family in grateful recognition of their generous support and contributions to the Ocean City Dive Rescue Unit through the Angelo Russo Memorial Dive Fund established by his family in loving tribute and honor of his memory.”