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.”
Terrifying Colombo family boss Andrew “Mush” Russo was remembered Saturday at his funeral by about 100 mourners in Brooklyn, including his granddaughter, Annie, who eulogized him as an “always loving” family man.
That family man had been free on $10 million bail on a federal racketeering case when he died this week at 87.
He was indicted in September along with 13 others, the crew accused of trying to infiltrate a Queens labor union by using “direct threats of bodily harm to control the management of the labor union and caused it to make decisions that benefitted the Colombo crime family.”
A cousin of the late Colombo boss Carmine Persico, Russo was said to be reluctant to retire from the “family” business saying on one FBI recording, “I can’t walk away. I can’t rest.”
Russo was released on home confinement on Long Island in October because of his ill health.
His farewell had many of the trappings of a mob funeral with a big floral tribute outside Our Lady of Peace Church in Brooklyn which said “Poppy” and mourners in black suits.
While the feds alleged Russo and his co-defendants were engaged in “loansharking, money laundering, fraud, and drug trafficking,” his granddaughter remembered him as a guy who visited a local nail salon last Christmas to buy gift certificates.
“We can’t tell you how much your grandfather helped us out,” the granddaughter, whose name couldn’t be confirmed, quoted the workers at the salon as saying.
She also remembered how her grandfather loved to cook.
“The kitchen looked like a tornado hit when he was done, but he was always so proud of the meals he so lovingly created,” she said.
She also alluded to his connection to the underworld by saying her granddad missed the people who were “still away.”
“He always dreamed of the day he would sit around the table with his cousins and his friends and look at them and know they were finally free. Sadly he never got that chance,” she said.
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