Carol Ann Russo – HHS ’63 – Briefly worked in the family business but succumbed to her love for breeding and showing horses throughout the country. Since the passing of Carol Ann in 2000 the Russo Family, established a whole new division of walk-trot show classes in her name. Carol Ann also bequeathed a scholarship fund to Cornell University to be used for the education of future veterinary students.
Joseph L. Russo – HHS ’63 – Attended Alfred State College in 1966 and joined the family business serving in various capacities. In the mid 1970’s he was named Executive Vice President. In 1980, upon the retirement of his father, Joseph was elevated to the position of President.
John Russo – HHS ’68 – Attended Corning College for two years, where he became active in the Army Reserves. He served the military in reserve status for six years. After leaving Corning, he joined the family business. He worked his way up learning every aspect of manufacture, sales, and distribution of soft Italian Cheese. In 1980 he became Senior Executive Vice President.
Celia Russo – HHS ’73 – Became active in the family business, gathering all the knowledge she could about the business working after school and on weekends. After graduation CeCe joined her brothers and began honoring her management skills while learning all the aspects of the business. She oversaw all aspects of the day to day office functions. She was named President of the food service division when it expanded in the late 1970s. In 1980 she was named Vice President of the Sorrento Cheese Company.
Carl became the third member of the Griffin family to be inducted in the Sports Wall of Fame, joining brother, Jack, (2010), and niece, Trisha (2011). Carl was a three sport star at Hamburg, lettering all three years, while playing football, basketball, and baseball from 1941-1944. Carl played end on the undefeated 1942 undefeated Hamburg football team, scoring the winning touchdown in the final seconds in 6-0 win over East Aurora in a driving rainstorm! He was captain of the 1943-44 league champion basketball team, and voted MVP, for the Class A Northern Erie County League Section VI basketball tournament of champions in 1944. After graduating from Hamburg, Carl went on to play football and basketball at St. Bonaventure, where he played in the 1946 Tobacco Bowl with the Bonnies football team in Lexington, Kentucky. Carl retired after 32 years of management for labor relations department with Bethlehem and Kaiser Steel.
Spencer W. Ravel (Spen) was a native of Jersey City, NJ and graduated from Colgate University in 1933 and played football in high school and college. He was a naval officer during World War II and the Korean Conflict, rising to the rank of Commander. He spent 38 years as a teacher and educator. In the 1940’s, he began to coach Hamburg’s football and basketball teams and became principal in the Hamburg Central School District in 1942. He retired in 1971. In 1965, Spen was recognized by the Hamburg National Honor Society Chamber for his 25 years as a school principal. He also served as President of the Hamburg Elk Clubs. He lived and breathed for his “Ravel Kids” and would basically go out of his way to help a student succeed. As an article announcing his retirement states, “Spen’s name has consistently stood for educational quality, extra- curricular achievement and a cohesive student body. His firm but fair discipline has ever been tempered by his warm smile and understanding attitude, earning him the respect of both students and faculty. He represents a close tie between the school and the village.” He died in Clearwater, FL at the age of 80 on December 29, 1988.
Robert D. Reichard – Hamburg High School Educator (1964 – 1998)
Robert Reichard began his musical career by playing the trombone in sixth grade in York, Pennsylvania. Robert graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He then continued his education at the University of Michigan where he earned a Masters Degree in Music. In 1964, Robert was offered the position of High School Band Director at Hamburg where he stayed until his retirement in 1998. During his years at Hamburg, the high school concert and marching and jazz bands won many awards and trophies at national music festivals. Robert was the chairman of the Hamburg Music Department from 1967 to 1982. He also found time in his busy schedule to serve as an adjudicator for the New York School Music Association and Erie County Festivals. Robert’s years in Hamburg were made special due to the support from the school district, community and especially the parents.
“Legend, Guru, Godfather of Lacrosse”, these are some of adjectives that you will hear players and coaches describe Ed Van Tine, not just in Hamburg, but throughout Western New York! Ed is responsible for not only bringing lacrosse to Hamburg, but also starting lacrosse programs at Buffalo State, Canisius College, and St. Francis High School. In 1975, Ed started Hamburg Youth Lacrosse Inc., which laid the groundwork for lacrosse to first become a high school club team, then a full-fledged school sport, and present day being a Western New York and state lacrosse Class B powerhouse! During Ed’s tenure, he produced some outstanding lacrosse players, such as Charles Denecke, Chris Pieczonka, Nate Hill, the Feuerstein’s, and the Resetarits’, (just to name a few) all who went on to play lacrosse at the collegiate level. Many of Van Tine’s former players are now coaching lacrosse throughout Western New York. Ed, a two-time purple-heart recipient (Vietnam), succumbed to cancer this past February.