February 20, 1955 - November 13, 2021
Russell James Percenti February 20, 1955 to November 13, 2021. Russ was born in Schenectady, NY to the late Russell John Percenti and Dolores Hils Percenti. Russ attended St. Peter’s Academy High School and Sienna College in Loudonville, NY, graduating with a degree in Business. He began his multi-faceted career at General Electric, a company which took him from NY to Seattle, WA, to Hendersonville, NC, and Ft Myers, Florida. He returned to NC when he and many of his family relocated to be in one central location, bringing Russ to the Raleigh area where he enjoyed working as a computer business solutions programmer at Research Triangle Commerce. Little did he know that this move would also lead him to his wife of 20 years, Lara. Shortly after they were married the computer bubble burst, at which time Russ returned to school to become an HVAC technician, quickly working up from residential technician to commercial sales. While working at a commercial site, an in-depth discussion with the client about all things mechanical led to the suggestion that Russ apply for a technical engineer position at the North American headquarters of Buhler Optics in Cary, NC. Russ’s innate mechanical ability was recognized by the hiring manager and culminated in his dream job in vacuum pump technology. During his years with Buhler Russ became one of their top field service engineers, made great friends, and had the opportunity to work throughout the US, Europe, Mexico, and China. Growing up in upstate NY, Russ had fond memories of summers spent at his Uncle Vince’s camp on Lake Sacandaga as well as at his parents’ cabin court, Whispering Pines, where guests during horse racing season in Saratoga became life-long friends of the family. Russ’s love of cars developed in his teens when he bought and restored his first sports car, a Jaguar XKE, with money earned working at the Saratoga racetrack. Russ’s hobby of collecting cars to restore and drive on weekend trips continued until he could no longer drive. Many winding roads were explored with his wife Lara, in the passenger seat of his MGB, Alfa Romero, Mercedes, and NSX. Another love Russ developed was travel. With his wife, and later joined by their daughter, Rachel, Russ shared many adventures abroad which took him to 19 countries and 6 continents. Just as Lara introduced Russ to the world of travel, he introduced her to Formula 1 Racing, and those two passions combined during a trip to Spain with seats in the stands at the Catalunya Grand Prix. In addition to his hobbies, Russ had a big heart and a great interest in helping those around him. He was always ready to donate to a good cause and was generous with his time. With a deep desire to help people he was often the first to volunteer or recognize a need. Russ never turned away from a situation where his skills were needed, from fixing broken HVAC units late at night or on weekends, to delivering meals to people in need, to providing Christmas to a client he saw could not afford a tree, to rescuing a very malnourished little Chihuahua tied to a tree at a residential HVAC job site. Russ knew he couldn’t leave that little animal behind, so he knocked on the door and asked the lady how much she wanted for her dog. His beloved Annie was completely devoted to him for the next 15 years. Russ was also brave. He faced his 3-year 7 month journey through ALS with courage and grace. From his first symptoms in April 2018, to his diagnosis in February 2019, and through the progression that robbed him of his body one part at a time, he never let it take away his positive outlook or sense of humor. Instead, he said he lived a full life and took comfort in his belief in Jesus Christ as his personal savior and the promise of healing in heaven. ALS was a hard journey, but his faith made it possible. He was blessed with tremendous guidance and medical care from the wonderful team at the Duke ALS Clinic, as well as practical everyday help and emotional support from his family, friends, and the incredible people at Transitions Hospice. A very special thank you to Terri, Joe, Don, Maureen, Brian, Bryan, Mario, and Dave, who so many times came to the rescue, fixed things, ran errands, and just made life a little easier. Lara and Rachel and his sweet Chihuahua Kiki were with him every step of the way. Russ passed away peacefully and quietly at Transitions Hospice with his wife there to kiss him goodbye. Russ maintained his sense of humor until the end, when he said, “I have a new set of keys to pick up. I’ll be driving my Ferrari soon.” He is racing on streets of gold now! Russ is preceded in death by his parents, Russell John Percenti and Dolores Hils Percenti). Russ is survived by his beloved wife Lara (Berg) Percenti and treasured daughter Rachel Percenti, and his cherished older children Russell Joseph Percenti and Adina Percenti Siedem (John). He will also be remembered with love by his siblings Don Percenti (Maureen) and Theresa Moore (Joe) as well as his in-laws Neil and Mardella Berg, Brian Berg, Crystal Harris (Kirk), and Angela Weddle. Many nieces and nephews also carried special places in Russ’s heart: Johathan (Jessica), Lee (Terez), Sara (Cooper), Derek, Ryan, Amanda, Jake, Carson, Tessa, Sean, and Logan. Russ was also blessed by his grandchildren, Russell Percenti and Vienna Siedem. Services will be held at Fairview Baptist Church at 2 pm on Sunday, November 28, 2021 in Apex, NC. A private committal service for the family will follow at Wake Memorial Park in Cary, NC In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Russ’s name to one of the following: The ALS Association NC Chapter 4 N Blount Street #200, Raleigh NC, 27601 Transitions Lifecare 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh NC, 27607 The NC 529C College Fund for Rachel (contact Lara for details)
Russell James Percenti February 20, 1955 to November 13, 2021. Russ was born in Schenectady, NY to the late Russell John Percenti and Dolores Hils Percenti. Russ attended St. Peter’s Academy High School and Sienna College in Loudonville,... View Obituary & Service Information
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Russell James Percenti February 20, 1955 to November 13, 2021.
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