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Helen Russo, 79, Former Westport Business Owner

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Helen R. Russo of Fairfield died Dec. 30 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 79.

Russo was born June 30, 1933, in Randleman, N.C. She was valedictorian of the class of 1951 at Randleman High School. After high school, she worked at B.B. Walker Shoe Company and as an executive secretary at General Electric in North Carolina until moving to Connecticut in 1962.

She continued her career with several Connecticut companies until 1970, when she opened The Darn Yarn Shoppe in Westport with her daughter. A cook and skilled craftswoman, Russo also published short stories.

She is survived by her husband, John A. Russo, of Fairfield; a daughter, Donna (Ken) Bender, of Fairfield; a son, John R. (Randy) Russo, of Bridgeport; a stepdaughter, Jamie (Joe) Breisler, of Westport; a stepson, Frederick Russo, of Virginia; a brother, Donnie (Virginia) Richardson, of Asheboro, N.C.; two grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation is from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Redgate-Hennessy Funeral Home in Trumbull, with a prayer service at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163.

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