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HarpRBuffalo:  Russell “Rusty” James Harp, 50, of Red Jacket Parkway, Buffalo, formerly of Forestville & Mayville, died suddenly Friday, November 17th, 2017, at TLC/HN-Lake Shore Hospital, Irving.  He was born in South Buffalo, on February 16, 1967, during a howling windstorm.  The third son and seventh child of David E. Harp, of Forestville and the late Mary Ann (Campion) Harp.

He moved to Forestville at a young age and was a willing recipient of sweet snacks, especially HOHO’s, wherever he went.  Mr. Harp was a graduate of Forestville Central School, Class of 1985.  He worked as a Toll Collector for the New York State Thruway Authority for several years at the Tappanzee Bridge in Westchester County before transferring to Mayville and becoming the manager for the Ripley Toll Booth, for over 10 years.  Mr. Harp was currently the Manager of the Lackawanna Toll Plaza.  He has worked for the Thruway Authority for 25 years.  He was an extremely proud, fun & supportive father of Sarah Catherine Harp, of Westfield, whom he enjoyed attending Sabres games with.

Surviving besides his daughter are seven sisters, Cathy Kaicher, Margaret “Peggy” (Doug) Prince, Mary (Ronald) Brennan, Sandy (Steve) Muck, Barb (Michael) Shields, Beth Miller, Becky Harp and two brothers, Frank (Marla) Harp, and Kevin (Jennifer) Harp.  Also surviving is Sarah’s mother Peggy VandeVeld and he was the favorite uncle to 17 nieces & nephews.  Besides his mother he was predeceased by an infant sister Anne Harp and a nephew Nicholas Muck.

Friends are welcome to call at Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, 39 Main Street, Forestville on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC Church, 165 Central Avenue, Silver Creek, with Rev. Daniel Fiebelkorn, pastor officiating.  Interment will follow in Smith Mills Cemetery, Town of Hanover.  PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH.

The family suggests memorials may be made to The Christian Appalachian Project, PO Box 55911, Lexington, KY 40555-5911 or online at  To post condolences go to


6 Comments on Obituary Notice – Russell “Rusty” James Harp

  1. Kathleen Vass says:

    With deep sorrow to my loving and caring neice Sarah, my sister Peggy Vandevelde and the entire extended Harp clan. Prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Kathleen and David Vass

  2. The Selvidge Family says:

    When you speak of him, speak not with tears, for thoughts of him should not be sad. Let memories of the times you shared give you comfort, for his life was rich because of you.

  3. Michael Osborne says:

    The Sisters and Brothers of the NYS Thruway Authority – CSEA Local 058 would like to send our deepest condolences to the entire Harp family. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Linda Wolf says:

    I was so sorry to hear this news. As a friend of Cathy Kaicher’s, I feel a great sympathy for all of you who love Rusty so much. That love will never die or diminish. I pray that you will find comfort in the sweetness of your love for him and his love for all of you as you navigate through this very sad time.

  5. Elaine (Kelley) Williams says:

    Dear Harp family,
    With fond and happy memories I think of Rusty. So sorry for your loss. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Elaine (Kelley) Williams and family

  6. Tm and Melanie North says:

    Tim and I both have such great memories of Rusty at Forestville Central. We always shared a hearty laugh with him and he seemed to always be the key leader in making us laugh like that. The Harp family has always demonstrated such a close and unique bond with eachother which is so easily picked up on and noticed by all of us.. you have all been so inspiring to so many of us. That is something that is so admired and respected.. so rare… and Rusty was and always will be part of that admiration. Our hugs and prayers are with all of you in this difficult time..

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