Russell P. Preno Jr. of Scranton and Naples, FL died Monday morning at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Debbie Stanko Preno and his son, Russell P. Preno III.
Born in Scranton on January 2, 1943, son of the late Russell and Margaret Creedon Preno, he graduated from Central High School and The University of Scranton, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business. He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church.
Preno’s Restaurant on Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton is where the culinary skills of Chef Russell Preno Jr. originated. At a very young age he began his career in the art of preparing fine food at his family’s owned and operated restaurant.
In 1986 he and his wife, Debbie, opened Russell’s Restaurant on Ash Street, where the fourth generation Preno tradition continues.
Russell’s love and passion not only included preparing fine food, but also had a special way of making his customers feel welcomed and part of the family. It made him proud to share his knowledge and skills with his son, Russell III, who continues his legacy.
Big Russ will be remembered for his love of life, family and friends and his willingness to put others needs ahead of his own.
He is survived by his son Russell III and fiancée Laurie Donovan, brother Thomas and companion Marilyn Griffiths, sister Mary Jo Yanusauskas and fiancé Jeff Zehner; godson and nephew Mark Stanco; niece Lori Goetz; godson Tony DiLeo.
He was preceded in death by his sister Peggy Preno and an infant brother, Michael.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday at 10am in the Immaculate Conception Church 801 Taylor Ave. Scranton by Rev. Joseph Sica.
Friends may call Thursday from 3-8pm in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton.
Interment, St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow.
In lieu of flowers the family encourages memorial contributions be made to Clearbrook Foundation Fund, 37 N. River Street, Suite 101, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.
For directions, to share a memory or leave an online condolence please visit www.vanstonandjames.com