Major John A. Santora, USAR, went to the Lord on Oct. 23, 2018.
John was the son of the late Dominic and Marion Santora of Fulton, New York. He married Ellen Durrigan of Panther Lake, New York in 1967.
John was proud of his military services. He spent four years in the United States Navy, mostly working as an airplane mechanic on an aircraft carrier. He mustered out of the Navy, and later during the Vietnam War, he joined the Army. He completed the Corps of Engineer Officer’s Candidate School at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. While in the Corps of Engineers, he served in Germany, Alaska, Virginia and Fort Drum as a construction and facilities engineer. In 1984, he retired from the Army having been awarded two Bronze Stars, two Army Commendation Medals, a Good Conduct Medal, a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal, and a Conspicuous Service Cross (NYS).
As a civilian, John served as the facilities director of Phoenix, New York, central schools and San Mateo City School District in California. He retired from San Mateo Schools in 1990.
John was an avid outdoorsmen. He loved to hunt and fish. He also loved to travel, and with his wife he visited nearly all of the 50 United States and most of the provinces of Canada. Together, they also traveled throughout Europe.
John projected a wonderful sense of loyalty, kindness, decency and respect, as well as a terrific sense of humor. One of his endearing qualities was that he often was the subject of his own jokes.
From 1994 until he passed John struggled tremendously with his health. Peace came on October 23.
He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Ellen M. Santora, PhD. Others who survive him are his sister, Judy (Robert) Kessler; three nieces, Michelle (John) Kearns, Kristine (Diego) LaBaudy and Sarah Jang; three nephews, Scott (Julie) Kessler, Thomas Marshall and Terry Marshall; a niece-in-law, Jenna (Todd, deceased) Kessler; and a sister-in-law, Kathleen (Jerry) Peters-Durrigan. In addition, he is survived by a number of grand nieces and grand nephews.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Webster, New York at 10 a.m. Nov. 8.
Donations can be made in John’s memory to the Kidney Foundation.