Industry mourns Russo's passing

By | March 16, 2010
Posted March 25, 2010

Larry Russo Jr., with the U.S. DOE Biomass Program, suffered a massive heart attack and died Saturday, March 20. He was 54. Russo had a strong industry background in the ethanol industry. He worked for both corn-to-ethanol and cellulosic ethanol. "He was an integral part of our integrated biorefinery team for the biomass program. He was a valued friend and colleague," said Valri Lightner, DOE team leader, in a brief notice informing friends and associates.

Lawrence J. Russo, Jr., 54, was born in Somerville, N.J., and was grew up in Peapack-Gladstone, N.J.. He moved to Waldorf, Md., five years ago.

He received his Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and his masters Degree from Indiana University. He was a past member of the Peapack-Gladstone Fire Department. He was also an avid motorcyclist.

Larry was a chemical engineer for the United States Department of Energy in Washington D.C for the last five years. He was involved in biomass conversion and bioenergy for nearly 30 years. He also had several patents, awards and publications regarding ethanol research and biofuels.

"Larry was truly good person and a consummate professional," said Joe Bryan, CEO of BBI International. "His industry knowledge was surpassed only by his willingness to share it. The bioenergy industry was extremely fortunate to have Larry on its side for so many years. In countless ways, Larry helped us serve, promote and grow the industry, most recently by serving on the 2009 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo program steering committee. Larry will be missed, but he leaves behind a lasting legacy in the bioenergy industry he helped build."

Survivors include his parents Lawrence J., Sr. and Dorothea Masler Russo; two brothers Eugene and his wife Debby of Califon and Joseph and his wife Jill of Great Meadows; two sisters Lee Ann Russo of Peapack and Linda Kiss and her husband Paul of Pennington, NJ. He is also survived by 14 nieces and nephews and four parakeets and Maggie the Macaw.

Bailey Funeral Home, Peapack, N.J. handled arrangements. Services will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 27 at St. Brigid Church in Peapack, N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Diabetes Assoc., P.O. Box 444, Mount Morris, IL, 61054, in his memory, would be appreciated. Condolences can be left on the Web site