Tony Russo Obituary (1927 – 2022) – Concord, CA

Tony A. Russo
Oct. 7, 1927 – Jan. 27, 2022
Tony left us to join his wife of 38 years, the former Elvira May McCallum, on January 27, 2022. Tony was also preceded in death by his parents Salvatore and Antonia Russo, all 6 sisters, both brothers and all their spouses: Mary Bertoni (Charles), Sally Lewis (Harry), Katherine Pilant (Jay), Mae Sapone (Albert), Joseph (Catherine), Mario (Olga), Josephine Caramiho (Ernest), and Rosemary Salvetti (Gino). He is survived by his daughter Kathleen Daugherty (Richard) and his son David Russo (Carmalita), his granddaughter Jennifer Schwartz (Ben) and grandsons Michael Skinkle and Ryan Daugherty (Clair). He is also survived by 114 nieces and nephews.
Tony was born in Pittsburg where he lived for 24 years. Following his marriage to the love of his life, Elvira, they moved to a new home in Concord. Through out their 38 years of Marriage, Tony and Elvira moved to 6 new and used homes in Concord, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Mateo and Walnut Creek.
Tony entered the US Army after high school graduation. After he completed Basic Training, he was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned to Ft. Lewis, Washington as a Drill Instructor where he trained many soldiers some of whom were later sent to Korea.
Tony joined the American Trust Company (bank) after discharge from the Army. He started as a commercial teller, then was promoted to Cash Keeper and eventually Head Note Teller. He met his wife Elvira McCallum at the American Trust Company in March and they were married in October of 1951.
Tony enjoyed dramatics. He performed as Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”, the reporter in “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and held supporting roles in many other plays. He even performed in an Italian Operetta which played in Pittsburg and Monterey.
After 6 years, he joined Bank of America in 1954 as an Operations Officer. While at the Bank of America, Tony was asked to teach Bookkeeping and accounting in Senior Evening High School, by Principal Joe Muirhead. They taught the class for 3 years, mostly to small business owners who needed the knowledge. In 1956, He was Elected Vice President and Treasurer of the Pittsburg Community Hospital District which served Pittsburg, Clayton, Clyde, Nichols and Port Chicago. They ended rampant thievery at the Hospital.
In 1957 he was promoted to the Systems Department at Bank of America Headquarters to become part of a fledging computer programming department. After his computer training, Tony wrote the first computer program anywhere in the world to produce Checking Account Statements on a main frame computer. He eventually rose to project manager and then Vice President overseeing all of the computer systems and program development for the California Division Branches of the Bank of America, employing a staff of almost 300 programmers.
Tony was responsible for putting the check number on the bottom of checks in MICR Ink. He invented the Instant Cash System, the TimeSaver Statement system and the Automated Christmas Club System. The Travelers Check System designed by Tony’s project team was the first to make use of the Bell Satellite to transmit data from San Francisco to London, England via satellite.
In 1960, he was asked by the college President to teach computer programming at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Tony taught COBOL programming for 5 years in the evening after work. After 5 years of careful searching, he finally found his own replacement.
Then Tony established two training centers for the Battered Women’s Alternative in Concord. He provided all the necessary computers and printers and taught classes to battered women for over 20 years. Following this, he volunteered to teach and assisted teachers at Clayton Valley High School for 7 years, helping to teach courses in WordPerfect document processing, the Lotus 123 spread sheet system and graphic design. During the next ten years, Tony provided over 800 computer systems and many printers to schools in Brentwood, Antioch, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Concord, Martinez, Oakland and Richmond.
After retiring from teaching, Tony accepted assignments as the treasurer campaign for the President of the Mt. Diablo Hospital board and the Mayor of the City of Concord. For many years, Tony served on the Financial Council of St. Bonaventure church, where he also served as Head usher for the eleven o’clock mass for 26 years. Tony prepared 5,000 palm crosses each year for over ten years for the church’s Palm Sunday service.
Tony served for ten years as the President of the Contra Costa network of Team Bank of America, one of the many volunteer arms of Bank of America. Team Bank of America held luncheons and golf tournaments to provide funds for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
Visitation will be held at St. Bonaventure in Concord, 5562 Clayton Road on February 17, 2022 at 10:30 AM followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 AM. Live streaming will be available. Internment will follow at Memory Gardens in Concord. Please send my gifts to your favorite charity.

View the online memorial for Tony A. Russo

Published by East Bay Times on Feb. 13, 2022.

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