21224-9306-oth-ColumbiaLake-cv1

Russell Peter Inzinga

November 15, 1921 ~ February 1, 2024 (age 102) 102 Years Old

Russell Inzinga Obituary

Russell Peter Inzinga, 102, a World War II veteran, peacefully passed away at his home in Columbia, Connecticut on February 1, 2024. Son of the late Beneditto and Maria (Giordano) Inzinga, Russell was born in Willimantic, Connecticut on November 15, 1921. Russell joined his beloved wife of 68 years, Marjorie Ann (Mallon) in Heaven. Russell is survived by his children: Dr. Joan Inzinga of Columbia, Connecticut, Mary Ann Pino (Rudolph) of Rye, New York, Carol Puckett (Thomas) of Columbia, Connecticut, Thomas Inzinga (Crystal) of Henniker, New Hampshire, and Donna MacFarland (Bruce) of Downingtown, Pennsylvania; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by two brothers, Peter Inzinga and Salvatore Inzinga, and three sisters, Rose Gallo, Lena Liseo, and Angeline Bauer.

Russell was a licensed barber for over eight decades. In June 2015, the town of Manchester, Connecticut presented an official proclamation to recognize Russell for over 50 years as the owner and operator of Russell’s Barber Shop. The Cheney Brothers National Historic District Commission presented an award to Russell for his 68 years of barbering in Manchester and his contributions to the East Side Neighborhood where his barbershop was located on the corner of Spruce and Oak Streets. Russell donated the contents and equipment of the barbershop to the Manchester Historical Society.

During World War II, Russell enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marine serving aboard the USAT E. B. Alexander making 36 transatlantic crossings. Russell desired to ensure Merchant Marine veterans be honored. He strongly advocated for obtaining veteran status for Merchant Mariners who were denied the GI Bill after WWII and personally campaigned for military benefits, which were finally enacted in 1988. His passion led him to personally fund the installation of a Merchant Marine Memorial plaque at the Willimantic Memorial Park. He was fortunate to live long enough to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his wartime service on his 101st birthday in 2021. That year, he received a Quilt of Valor for his service. Russell participated in several Naturalization ceremonies welcoming new U.S. citizens with the American flag.

Russell devoted his time to his local community serving on the Columbia Planning and Zoning Board, Windham Regional Planning Board, and as Justice of the Peace.

As a long-time communicant of St. Columba Church and Holy Name Society member, Russell spent many Friday evenings running the church bingo program which resulted in paying off the church mortgage and funding the St. Columba Scholarship award. He was a lifetime member of the Willimantic Elks.

Russell enjoyed swimming, sailing, ice skating and fishing with his family at Columbia Lake, which he often visited in his prized golf cart. He took great pride in his property and loved working around his yard. A long-time steward of 104 acres of Wells Woods woodlands and wetlands in Columbia, Connecticut, he eventually transferred the property to Columbia’s land conservancy to be preserved in perpetuity.

Russell’s greatest love was for his wife Marjorie. Their strong faith in Christ was the foundation of their family. Together, they instilled the principals of hard work, perseverance, education, commitment to family, and an enduring focus on faith. Throughout their lives, they stood strong behind every family member providing guidance, love and support.

Calling hours will be at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson Street, (Rte. 195) Willimantic, CT on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 11:00 AM at St. Columba Church, 328 Junction Routes 66 and 87, in Columbia, with assembly at church, burial to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, 134 Club Road, Willimantic, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his memory may be made to: American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV) Mission Support Fund, In Memory of Russell Inzinga, P.O. Box 2024, Darien, CT 06820-2024; St. Columba Lighting Fund, P.O. Box 146, Columbia, CT 06237; or East Catholic High School, Advancement Office, The Marjorie and Russell Inzinga Scholarship Fund, 115 New State Road, Manchester, CT 06040. For an online memorial guestbook please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com.

Dad, we love you and thank you for being the greatest father and an active participant in the making of the Greatest Generation.

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Services

Calling Hours
Wednesday
February 7, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Potter Funeral Home
456 Jackson Street
Willimantic, CT 06226

Funeral Mass
Thursday
February 8, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Columba Church
328 Rtes 66
Columbia, CT 06237

Burial
Thursday
February 8, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
St. Joseph Cemetery
Club Rd.
Windham, CT 06280

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