Russell Gilardi, the affable owner of a marina on the Petaluma River, died on his birthday, Nov. 13, of a heart attack. He was 62.
Gilardi suffered an apparent heart attack while driving his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado on Petaluma Boulevard North near Metz Lane, causing the pickup to crash into a sign and guardrail.
"He touched a lot of people's lives," said his son, John Gilardi.
Gilardi was born and raised in Petaluma, graduating from Petaluma High School in 1969 before joining the Navy. After the military, Gilardi helped run the family's two businesses.
He was a partner in the former Gilardi's Furniture on Petaluma Boulevard, which his parents opened in the 1960s. It closed in the early 1990s.