In Memory of




Obituary for Russell Andrew Melanson

Russell A. Melanson – Professionally known as Russ Carlton of Natick, MA previously of Holliston, MA.

Russell A. Melanson born December 4, 1940, Waltham, MA died peacefully at home September 1, 2022, in Natick, MA.

Russ was a well-known musician in New England leading the Russ Carlton Trio for many years. In his younger days he led the Thunderbirds of Boston, playing their first paying gig in 1958. As the Russ Carlton Trio, he was the house band at the Boston Playboy Club lounge and traveled with the show band The Promises throughout the U.S. and the Bahamas. He was the owner of Russ Carlton Entertainment of Framingham, MA with connections to many local bands and was the house band at many clubs, including The Village Pub in Holliston, MA in the 1970’s. In recent years Russ enjoyed playing piano for seniors at residential care centers and playing at Bullfinch’s in Sudbury, MA, where he provided bands for their popular jazz brunch for over 20 years. He entertained countless celebrations as a DJ at weddings, graduations and events including Cruise Night at Kimball Farms in Lancaster, MA. He shared his love of music with countless piano students from1964 until shortly before he passed.

Loving husband of Mia Melanson (Schiffman) formerly of Lorain, OH, Russ leaves behind four children; Russ Melanson, Jr., Faith Dion, Wendy DeMichaelis, and Sienna Melanson. He was the grandfather of six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He leaves behind several nieces and nephews including his niece Karen Ristuccia of Waltham, MA, and her two children.
Russ is predeceased by his wife and mother of his three older children formerly of Holliston, MA Carol Melanson (Sund).

His love of music, performing and his family sustained him over the past three years while he battled Leukemia. Russ will be missed immensely by his family, his friends, and the New England music community.

Friends and family are invited to gather and remember the love and laughter Russ shared in The Mary Catherine Chapel of Brasco and Sons Memorial Chapels, located 773 Moody Street in Waltham from 6 pm - 8 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2022, with a Celebration of his life beginning at 6 pm. Parking Attendants will be on duty. For those who wish to pay their final respects, but are unable to attend, please be sure to sign the guestbook at

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Donations may be made in Russ’s loving memory to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Brasco and Sons Memorial Chapels “
“Creating Meaningful Memories”