Saturday, March 5, 2016

R.I.P. Russell C. "Bunny" Carfagno, Jazz Trumpeter

Celebration of the life of 
Russell C. "Bunny" Carfagno
Born November 12, 1925
Tuesday March 8, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm.
Reception to follow.
Aycock Funeral Home
505 South Federal Highway
Stuart Florida 34994

From Dr. Mark DeFusco:
Musing on Mercy - Day 83
In action. I have been writing these for nearly 3 months and have not really talked about personal experience. I spent the day today with the saddest of focus. My mother's last sibling, a wonderful musician and sailor named Russell C. (Bunny) Carfagno returned to his maker yesterday morning. Though he carefully prepared for his final arrangements, strange circumstances has made it difficult to determine what those wishes are. I got to thinking that for most, the corporal act of mercy of burying the dead is often difficult and a deep blow to the hearts of all who love. I expect that things will clear tomorrow but please celebrate with me the life of a wonderful man. The world will be a little quieter and without the sheer wonder of harmonies. He improvised a life we are all proud of. That improvisation brought wonder and smiles and great joy. He reminded us "what a wonderful world;" He always ended on a high note. Enjoy. Full text at:

Bunny Carfagno (left)  & Bandmate Colin Redfern (right)

In Memory of

Russell "Bunny" Carfagno

November 12, 1925 - March 2, 2016
Russell (Bunny) Carfagno passed away March 2, 2016 in Stuart, Florida. Russell took his nickname from the jazz trumpeter Bunny Berigan which reflected Russell's long career as a professional musician and teacher. 

Russell was born in Norristown PA on November 12, 1925 to Charles and Emma Carfagno (nee Perpetua). He graduated from Norristown High School in 1941, where he was a member of the Swing Band. He went on to serve in the US Navy in World War II, most notably playing on the USS Missouri as Admiral Chester Nimitz accepted the surrender of Japan in Tokyo Bay, in September of 1945. 

After the war, he moved to Annapolis, MD and attended Towson State University in Maryland, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. He taught music for many years in various Maryland public schools and at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He continued to play in the US Naval Academy Band, playing in the orchestra for numerous Presidential Inaugural Balls and other government events. 
Once he retired from his teaching career, Russell and his wife Marjorie moved to Stuart, FL and enjoyed their love of fishing and sailing for many years. In Florida, Russell continued his musical career, playing throughout the state, including as a regular member of the orchestra at the former Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, Florida in the 1980s where he met and befriended many stars of the 80s like Dom DeLuise, Charles Nelson Reilly and Sherman Hemsley. 
Playing throughout his 70s and 80s, 

Russell was featured in orchestras throughout the state and on cruise ships, most recently appearing with the Ron Davisson Big Band and Bob Hoose and his Orchestra. He also composed and arranged music and can be heard on several movie scores including "Avalon" and "In Her Shoes." He was featured on Public Television in the 1980s. 

Russell was a member of Norristown's Verdi Band and Lodge of Antonio Meucci, playing trumpet in jazz bands at the club.
He is survived by his longtime companion, Donna Lawson, his sister Rachel (Bernard) DeFusco and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by wife Marjorie and his brothers Albert, Richard and Charles Jr. and his sister Dolores Cognato. 

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 5:00-7:00PM at Aycock Funeral Home in Stuart, Florida. A reception will immediately follow next door at Hogsnappers. 

1 comment :

  1. Thank you for the honor of these kind words. The musicians who who shared their talents at the memorial service sent Bunny out with great style, the way any musician would want. Thank you...