Cover photo for Rev. Dr. John Joseph Santoro's Obituary
Rev. Dr. John Joseph Santoro Profile Photo

Rev. Dr. John Joseph Santoro

July 25, 1945 — June 12, 2023

Buena Park, California

Rev. Dr. John Joseph Santoro

Age 77 of Buena Park, California died Monday, June 12, 2023 at Providence St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California.

Born July 25, 1945 in Dearborn, Michigan, John was the son of Joseph and Irene (nee Jacht) Santoro. He was raised and educated in Marine City, Michigan and graduated from Ward-Cottrell High School with the Class of 1963. John attended Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where he excelled in the marching band and was the Commander of The Guards when they took first place in the National Drill Team Competition in 1965.

Following his college graduation in 1967, he was commissioned to the United States Air Force in which he served 5 years, both stateside and abroad in Korea. While in the service, John married his college sweetheart, Linda Marie Decker, in April of 1968 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. After his honorable discharge, he completed his MBA and attended the Chicago Lutheran School of Theology and became an ordained minister in 1977. John went on to achieve his doctorate and would served churches in Buena Park, Burbank, Lancaster, and Valparaiso until his retirement in 2013. He and his wife relocated to Buena Park where they spent the past seven years.

A man of many hobbies, John enjoyed being outdoors flower gardening and feeding the birds. He also had an appreciation for photography, architecture, classical music, and a long train ride. John’s strength in faith not only led him through difficult trials in his life, but was also an inspiration to those who loved him and whom he loved.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Linda Marie Santoro; one nephew, Randal (Sheryl) McGeachy of Clinton Township, Michigan, one great niece and one great nephew: Amanda (Juan) Alvarado-Garcia of Clinton Township and Justin McGeachy of Woodridge, Illinois; and his great-great niece and great-great nephew: Caden and Madison Garcia.

John was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Barbara (Lloyd) McGeachy.

Funeral services were held on June 19, 2023 at Emanuel Lutheran Church in La Habra, California, and John will be laid to rest Thursday, July 13, 2023 at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois. Family and friends should arrive at the cemetery at 11:45 a.m. for 12:00 p.m. committal services.

Local arrangements are under the direction and care of Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes and Crematory in Wilmington, Illinois (815) 476-2181.

Past Services

Committal Service

Thursday, July 13, 2023

12:00 - 12:30 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

20953 W Hoff Rd, Elwood, IL 60421

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