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AUG. 1, 1926 -- MARCH 31, 2005

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in St. Leo the Great Church, 885 Sweet Home Road, for Louis R. Russo, 78, of Amherst, the founder of Marvino's Pizzeria. Burial will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 3063 Harlem Road in Cheektowaga.

Mr. Russo died unexpectedly Thursday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

Born in New Castle, Pa., Mr. Russo attended public schools in Buffalo and graduated from Technical High School. He went to work for the City of Buffalo in 1952 as a laborer with the Streets Department and worked his way up the ranks to city inspector before retiring in 1985.

He opened the first Marvino's Pizzeria in 1961 at 1854 Genesee St., before closing it in 1974. A second location, which he opened in 1972 at 480 Evans St. in Williamsville, is still run by his family. Mr. Russo retired from the business in 1996.

He was one of the founders of D.E.M. Guys, a group of cardiac patients at the Village Glen Health and Fitness Center in Williamsville.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Ann Girone; a daughter, Lou Ann Lombardo of Amherst; two sons, Louis R. Jr. and Michael J., both of Amherst; a sister, Phyllis Caputi of Amherst; a brother, Rudolph Alloy of Tonawanda; and eight grandchildren.