Skip to content Skip to navigation

In Memory

Obituary for my father, Russ J. Altman (1936-2021)

Russ John Budd Altman, 84, of Hempstead, NY passed away on Wednesday, February 10th, at 10:57pm at Flushing Hospital in Queens, NY.  He was born in Brooklyn on December 11, 1936 to Ruth Altman (nee Viebrock) and Ernest Altman.

Russ was a proud graduate of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School (1954), St. John’s University (1959), and New York University’s Graduate School of Business.  After a career in personnel administration at Wykoff General Hospital and White Plains Hospital, Russ worked in the energy and aerospace industries at companies including TRW and Twombly.

Russ taught courses on starting a small business at the Fashion Institute of Technology from 1985 to 2004. His engaging teaching style and sense of humor endeared him to his students and inspired them to follow their dreams. Shortly after the fall of Apartheid, he spent a year in Cape Town, South Africa teaching business courses at the Cape Technikon to a newly empowered generation of entrepreneurs.  

A long-time volunteer fireman for the Bellerose Village Fire Department, Russ served as President and attended meetings long after his fire-fighting days were over.  He was an active member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in New York City where he volunteered at the soup kitchen weekly for over a decade.  His penchant for mischief was showcased in his two appearances as an imposter on the long-running television gameshow To Tell the Truth.

Russ is survived by his children, Russ Biagio Altman, Susan Altman Prescott, and Peter Francis Altman, their spouses, Jeannie, Bill, and Melissa, their mother, Frances Altman (nee Battaglia), nine grandchildren: Rico, Rosie, Mariana, Annie, Jack, Julia, Francesca, Eli and Evey, and a great grandson, Theo.  He is also survived by his beloved sisters Patricia Alexandro and Mary Testa. 

Those close to him will lovingly remember him, in the words of his grandson, Rico, as “hilarious, cosmopolitan, enterprising, and a bit of a kvetch.”  His unwavering loyalty to the people and institutions he loved will continue to inspire his family as they mourn his loss.

A memorial service is planned for later in the year.  For more information contact russ@russaltman.org.