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Clara Pauline Russo

Clara Pauline Russo, 83 years, 10 months, 16 days old, of Gainesville, Mo. passed away on January 21, 2020 at her daughter’s home with her family by her side.

Clara was born March 5, 1936 in Dante,Virginia to Otis and Lake (Lewis) Casteel.

Clara was raised in the Smokey Mountains of Virginia and after her high school graduation she enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, where she met her husband, John H. Russo, who was also serving in the Air Force. 

After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, they started their family in Florida. They were blessed with three children.

They were owners of a real estate development and construction company. Upon retirement they moved to the Ozarks thirty years ago. 

Clara was a Christian, and was raised in the Baptist Faith. She enjoyed reading, Bible study, and watching old western movies.

Clara was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, John Harry Russo in 2000, her brother, Jim Casteel, and her sister, Jan Lambert.

She is survived by her children, Robin Russo of Florida, John Otis & Sherri Russo of Gainesville, MO, and Debra & Dorian Dade of Ava, MO, four grandchildren, John Jeffrey & Danielle, Matthew Thomas & Cara, Jacob Otis, and Diana Nicole, one step grandson, Michael & Julie Gonter, 10 great grandchildren, the 10th, Eden Hope Russo born January 21st at 12:54 p.m. at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The 11th future great granddaughter Arianna Alzina is due in April. Also surviving are two siblings, Glen Casteel and Margaret Billmyer. 

Private Family Graveside services for Clara will be Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Gainesville Cemetery, Gainesville, MO with full military honors by Troy Herd American Legion Post 112 and U.S. Air Force Detail. Officiating will be Pastor Mason Eslinger.  Services are being conducted by Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Gainesville, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial contributions to Ava VFW Post #5993 and the Troy Herd American Legion Post #112.  Online condolences may be made to