Class of 1956 (Orthodontics)

IN MEMORIAM

DR. RUSSELL P. ESPOSITO, ORTHODONTICS, CLASS OF 1956

Dr. EspositoDr. Russell Paul “Russ” Esposito died on May 31, 2014. He was 94.

Dr. Esposito was born to Pasquale (Charles) and Angelina Esposito on March 26, 1920 in Spokane, Wash. He was raised in the Gonzaga University/St. Aloysius neighborhood and attended St. Aloysius grade school and Gonzaga Prep before entering Gonzaga University. He enrolled in pre-medicine and played end during Gonzaga’s final era of college football. While in school, he assisted his father at the family grocery store. After college, he attended medical school in Portland, Ore., where he completed a degree in dentistry. While there, he met Peggy Tallman. Upon his graduation, they married on Nov. 11, 1944. He joined the Army as a dentist during World War II. Later he transferred to the Navy and was stationed in San Diego.

After the war, the Espositos returned to Spokane to open his practice, but were forced to close it when he was recalled to active duty by the Navy during the Korean War. At Oakland California Naval Base, he operated out of a mobile medical van. After that, he completed his certification in Orthodontics, specializing in maxillofacial surgery, at the School of Dentistry. He practiced orthodontics in Spokane, with Peggy as his medical assistant. The couple retired at age 65 and began to travel.

Dr. Esposito enjoyed being with his immediate family: the Migliuri clan on his mother’s side in Spokane and the Scarcellos on his father’s side near Rathdrum, Idaho. He was an avid fisherman and hunter and traveled to Alaska with his brother Joseph. He loved his yard and garden and spent time relaxing with family and doing work on the family cabin at Twin Lakes, Idaho. The Espositos visited Europe, Australia, China, Canada, Africa and other destinations, often meeting up with his uncle George Migliuri. They also traveled around the country in their motorhome. He participated in charitable organizations, including services to reconstruct cleft palate deformities in children. He and his father initiated the annual Gonzaga Prep spaghetti dinner. After the death of his wife, longtime family friend Verna Felice became his constant companion.

Dr. Esposito is survived by his brother Charles; sister Gloria (Richard) Poole; sister-in-law Joyce Esposito; Verna Felice; nieces and nephews Angela, Charles, Gina, Sarina, Anthony, Kate, Molly, Jill, Sara, Amy, Richard, Brian and Kristina; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Peggy, and his brother Joseph. (Legacy.com)