Joseph F. Santoro
July 8, 1928 – October 6, 2019
Joe Santoro, age 91, of Glendora, California, went to his final rest early Sunday morning, October 6, 2019, at his daughter’s home surrounded by his family.
Joe was a first-generation-American, born the first child to Italian immigrants in Orange, New Jersey. He was proud to be an American. Being too young for military service during the early days of WWII, he joined the Air Scouts program, a division of the Boy Scouts, in which he made balsa wood models pf enemy planes, painted black and sent to training bases in New Jersey for recruits to learn to identify aircraft from the ground. He attended Orange High School where he excelled in track and field events, earning two sports letters. He was also an outstanding student, gaining an offer to attend M.I.T. after graduation. He chose instead to remain at home and attended Newark College of Engineering, and later, the University of New York. Beginning his career as a draftsman, he rose through the ranks to retire from the Xerox Corporation as the manager of manufacturing engineering. He holds two patents for vital parts used on the Apollo space crafts, and was the team lead on the project to develop and enhance mammography technology. Upon his retirement, he returned to his first love and ancestral trade of woodworking. He opened Santoro Design Associates, specializing in cabinetry and furniture making. After he retired from that business, he continued to spend as much time as possible in his shop, teaching his grandchildren how to make things, and taking on small projects for friends and neighbors. He lovingly maintained that he felt the closest to his father and brother when he was in his woodshop.
Joe was a friend to all who knew him, making lasting friendships with his neighbors, his daughter’s neighbors and friends, and the “guys down at the pool room” at the La Fetra Senior Center. He could always be counted on for a warm smile and a twinkle of mischief in his eye. Whenever there was a backyard party, he was there, telling jokes and making everyone laugh. His family believe that the term, “dad joke” was coined for him and all the dumb jokes he loved so much to tell. He was a life-long Dodgers fan, following the team from their beginnings in Brooklyn to their move to Los Angeles. Joe literally followed his favorite team to the sunny foothills of Southern California, where he settled his family in 1969. He continued his passion for all things aeronautic in the mid-seventies when he earned his private pilot’s license and owned his own Cesna aircraft. Joe’s love of flying carried him through to his final days.
He was predeceased by his parents Saverio and Vincenzina (Squillacciotti) Santoro, and his brother, Frankie (Frank Santoro). He is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Lois (Kessel) Santoro of Glendora; children: Lynn Santoro-Harvey and her husband Peter; Loren Santoro and her husband Craig Bloxham; grandchildren: Adam Santoro-Harvey, Erika Santoro Harvey, Saville Bloxham, and Talia Bloxham.
Cremation was private and entrusted to Oakdale Memorial Park, 1401 S. Grand Ave., Glendora, Ca. A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at Oakdale Memorial Park. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the City of Hope Cancer Research Fund at cityofhope.org, in Joseph F. Santoro’s honor.
- Lois Santoro, Wife
- City of Hope Cancer Research Fund
- Funeral Service Wednesday, October 16, 2019