He may have been a cold-blooded mob boss who used threats of violence to get what he wanted – but to his granddaughter he was just “Poppy”.
The terrifying boss of the Colombo family, Andrew “Mush” Russo, was remembered at his funeral on Saturday by around 100 mourners in Brooklyn, including his granddaughter, Annie, who greeted him as a family man.” always loving”.
The family man had been released on $10 million bail in a federal racketeering case when he died this week at age 87.
He was indicted in September along with 13 others, the crew accused of attempting to infiltrate a union in Queens using ‘direct threats of bodily harm to control the leadership of the union and caused it to make decisions that benefited the Colombo crime family. ”
A cousin of late Colombo boss Carmine Persico, Russo was reportedly reluctant to step down from the “family” business, saying on an FBI tape: “I can’t walk away. I can’t rest.
Russo was released at home on Long Island in October due to poor health.
His farewell had many trappings of a mob funeral with a large floral tribute outside Our Lady of Peace Church in Brooklyn that read “Poppy” and mourners in black suits.
While the feds alleged that Russo and his co-defendants were involved in “sharking, money laundering, fraud and drug trafficking,” his granddaughter remembered him as a guy who had been to a local nail salon last Christmas to purchase gift certificates.
“We can’t tell you how much your grandfather helped us,” said the granddaughter, whose name could not be confirmed, citing salon workers.
She also remembered how her grandfather liked to cook.
“The kitchen felt like a tornado when he was done, but he was always so proud of the meals he created with so much love,” she said.
She also alluded to her connection to the underworld saying that people who were “always away” missed her grandfather.
“He always dreamed of the day when he would sit around the table with his cousins and friends and look at them and know they were finally free. Unfortunately, he never had that chance,” a- she declared.
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