Russell Frank DeVita
January 10, 1944 – February 8, 2020
Russell, 76, passed away Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Pineville Rehabilitation Center in Pineville, NC. He had been bravely fighting multiple health issues for a decade.
Born January 10, 1944 in Staten Island, NY, he was the son of the late Dominick and Julia (Pleseia) DeVita. He enlisted in the US Air Force in 1961 and was sent to Spain. He remained in service until 1965 when he got an honorable discharge. During his time in the USAF, he was taught to drive bombs around the station in a tractor trailer truck. This began a long love of driving for him. When he returned to civilian life, he began driving trucks for a living. Though he did other jobs in his life, his proudest career was being a long-haul trucker. He crossed America, drove its highways, and while he loved the independence of the road, he always brought home stories about his adventures: the places he traveled and the things he saw and the people he met. Russell drove until he retired in 2009.
Russell always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He made everyone feel welcome. He loved his family. He worked hard. He had the simple, remarkable optimism of a child. He had strange tastes—he thought black licorice was delicious and did peanut butter and tea for breakfast—and a capacious appetite for everything: he loved rotten movies, loud music, frozen malts, and read Stephen Hawking with the same pleasure he gave restaurant menus.
He married Karen Keefer DeVita in 1967 and settled down in Staten Island, NY. They welcomed their first son, Randy Allen DeVita, in 1968, and moved to New Jersey. Their second son, Russell Jeffrey DeVita, was born in 1970. He was such a proud father. His sons brought him so much joy, and he relished in their accomplishments.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Karen; two children, Randy Allen DeVita (Ann) of Seattle, WA, Russell Jeffery DeVita (Veronica) of Charlotte, NC, four grandchildren, Jacob and Eric DeVita of Charlotte, and Paige and Lewis DeVita of Seattle; as well as his oldest brother, Anthony Dante DeVita (Mildred) of Morris, NY, as well as nieces Cassandra, Gabrielle, Michelle and nephews Christopher and Mark.
A sister, Loretta Mahmet and a brother, John DeVita preceded him in death.
A memorial drop-in reception to celebrate Russ’s life will be held from 10-12 on Wednesday, February 12th at a reception room at McEwen Funeral Service – Pineville Chapel, 10500 Park Road. The family will be present to receive friends and family.
For those wishing to send memorial gifts, please consider Paralyzed Veterans of America or The Humane Society of Charlotte.
Condolences may be offered at www.mcewenpinevillechapel.com
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Russell Frank DeVita
February 19, 2020
Russ was one of a kind. A good father and husband, we chased each other around this country for many,many miles. Russ was great to our .son Jason as a little kid. Russ loved his 2 boys to the end of the earth. We had years of trucking together,from NJ to LA. Many stories have been told. About our trips.Our condolences to Karen ,Rusty and family,Randy and his family. Dave,Mindy,Jason,Jennette Webb
February 11, 2020
Uncle Russell was the best Uncle anyone could ask for, he was Uncle Russell. He was joyful and happy and made everyone laugh with his stories. He was kind to me and my sister and brother when we visited on holidays and in the summer he made sure we had fun taking us to see Smokey and the Bandit taking us to the Airshows and for ice cream. I spent time with him when my family moved to Budd Lake and I will never forget his kindness to my daughter Sophia. I will miss his joyfullness and wish him to Rest In Peace. Gabby