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Russell Fiorella, Buffalo truant officer and businessman

Feb. 4, 1942 - April 4, 2017

Russell  Fiorella of Kenmore, a Buffalo Public Schools truant office and  businessman, died Tuesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 75.

Born and raised in Buffalo, Rosario Fiorella changed his first name to Russell and also was known as "Roddy," according to family members.

A 1963 graduate of Canisius College, Mr. Fiorella earned a master's degree in education from  Buffalo State College in  1969. He taught in Buffalo public orimary schools until he was appointed a truant officer in 1973. He retired in 2007.

A Buffalo Bisons season ticket holder for more than 20 years, Mr. Fiorella had worked for the City of Buffalo garbage division, delivered summonses for local attorneys and was a food service waiter at Canisius. He also worked as a stationary engineer for St. Francis Hospital for about 20 years and owned and operated Grasshopper Landscaping & Snow Plowing.

In retirement, Mr. Fiorella was active in the  Retired Teachers Association of Buffalo and organized a Wednesday lunch group of public school retirees.

His first wife, the former Patricia Skowron, died in 1991.

Survivors include his wife, the former Nancy Pontoriero, whom he married in 1996; two sons, Russell and Dr. Vincent; two daughters, Lisa Simonian and Trish Millman; a brother, Buffalo City Court Judge Joseph A.; a sister, Bonnie Scalfani; and eight grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Saturday in St. Michael's Catholic Church, 651 Washington St.

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