Rosario “Russ” P. Romanelli, formerly a president of of Western Union, died Aug. 21 at his home in Lloyd Neck. He was 89.
Born in Brooklyn, in 1929 as the third son of immigrant parents, he graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, where he was appointed battalion commander. He served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from St. John’s Law School. He worked as a naval architect at Sparkman and Stephens before following a career in telecommunications.
He started at Western Union Telegraph, later, Western Union International, Inc., where he served as president, and thereafter, was the CEO of both Teleport Communications and WorldCom, and co-founder and President of Submarine Lightwave Cable.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Alice (Carberry), his parents Nicola and Angelica, and his brothers Otto and Marcello.
He leaves five children and their spouses (James, John, Stephen (and Carla), Anne (and Joseph Schmitz) and Christine (Leonard)), 13 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and his sister, Barbara.
He published a memoir in 2009, “The Third Son, Alice’s Husband”, the title of which beautifully reflected the humility, kindness and gratitude that was core to his character, as well as the unbounded love he had for his wife.
Visitation at the M.A. Connell Funeral Home is scheduled for Friday from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
A funeral Mass is Saturay at St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington at 9:15 am with interment at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers a donation to the charity of the donor’s choice.