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Obituary: John O. Santelli

Devoted husband, loving father and cherished friend, John O. Santelli passed away on Sept. 8, 2011 at the age of 83. He is survived by his wife Rita and his daughter Rita Joan. His kind memory will be remembered by all who crossed his path and called him friend.

Born on June 16, 1928 in Brooklyn, John graduated Boys High in Bedford Stuyvesant and then earned a bachelor of science at Long Island University and a masters in pharmacy at Columbia University. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army, John served in the Korean War and then continued military service in the US Army Reserve and the NYS Army National Guard. He achieved the rank of colonel and retired after 27 years of active duty and reserve duty as a brigadier general. Always a soldier, his assignments included commander of the famed 69th Infantry Battalion, aka the Fighting Irish.

As a businessman, John’s additional studies in finance and business management at NYU helped him start and own a commercial mortgage brokerage and consulting firm, Anchor Associates. Active in several businesses and professional organizations, John also devoted his social services as trustee of the Village of Manorhaven and in many other community groups. He was the Exalted Ruler in the Great Neck-Port Washington Elks Foundation.

Throughout his life, John was a passionate musician and jazz pianist. He studied music with the classical renowned professor Albert D’Auberge and performed in his own jazz band in New York City during the 1950s. He continued to perform jazz piano for years to come in many great area events, headlining most proudly at his own grand piano in his home every night after dinner, much to the pleasure of his family and friends.

John experienced an aortic aneurysm in March 1983 and survived three open heart surgeries and many more health challenges. His soldier spirit, conqueror perseverance and love for his family gave us so many wonderful years with such a beautiful person. To say that he will be missed and lovingly remembered does not begin to express the deep loss and emptiness in our hearts his passing leaves.

Funeral arrangements were handled by the Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home, Port Washington. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 14 at Our Lady of Fatima RC Church. Interment St. Charles Cemetery.

News

Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.

Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.

Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.

Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.

Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.

“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.


Sports

The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.

The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life.  He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.

The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.

With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.


Calendar

Schreiber Symphony Orchestra - November 6

Port Summer Show - November 6

Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington Meeting - November 7


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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