Cover photo for James C. Santoro's Obituary
James C. Santoro Profile Photo
1941 James 2024

James C. Santoro

September 6, 1941 — April 20, 2024

New Lenox

James “Jim” Charles Santoro passed away peacefully at home on April 20, 2024. 

Jim was born September 6, 1941, to parents Helen and August Santoro in Chicago, Illinois, where he spent his childhood in Cottage Grove Heights.  After graduating from Fenger High School, Jim attended Blackburn College and shortly after married his high school sweetheart who gave him two boys. After a few years working for the Illinois Central Railroad, Jim settled into a long career in sales. He was an accomplished Boy Scout and eventually a devoted Scout leader.  He especially enjoyed carving and racing  Pinewood Derby cars with his sons.

Among his many hobbies, SCUBA diving was one of his most adventurous.  An avid fisherman, musician, and once hailed as the "Professional Child magician" by the Chicago Tribune, Jim had a passion for enjoying his favorite things in life – especially good food and music.  He was one to always extend an invitation to his home, whether it was for a meal, to play chess or pinochle, watch a game, or to enjoy his extensive classical record collection. He even hosted jam sessions at his house with friends and family, and eventually ventured out with his harmonicas to live jam sessions at local establishments well into his later years.  He was an especially passionate fan of the Chicago Bears and the Cubs.  He loved telling stories and always appreciated a great joke.  Outside of his home, one of Jim’s favorite places to spend time was in the North woods of Wisconsin, where he fished the Wisconsin River and dozens of lakes over the past seven decades. He took pride in teaching friends and loved ones how to fish and where to find the best spots for Muskies. Above all, however, Jim was an especially proud family man.

Jim was preceded in death by his late wife Kathleen Santoro (nee Williamson) in 2005 and wife Susan Santoro (nee Stiles) in 1984, and his first wife Ruth Santoro, his son Nicholas Santoro, along with his mother Helen and father August Santoro previously.

He is survived by his four children: James R. Santoro (Susan), Michael C. Santoro (Karin Dahl), Stacey V. Santoro-Murphy (Robert Murphy), and April H. Santoro; four grandchildren: Daniel J. Santoro (Sarah), Nicole R. Murphy, Sarah R. Santoro, and Sofia Dahl-Santoro; and two great-grandchildren, Jayce and Marleigh Santoro. He is also survived by his brother August Santoro (Louise), nephews John (Ruth) and Wayne (Maria) Santoro, and several great-nephews and nieces.  He also leaves an extensive family in Michigan.

Memories of Jim will be cherished deeply by all his family and friends.  A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, June 29 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 19515 115th Ave., Mokena, Illinois.  A celebration of life will follow at the American Legion Hall at 14414 W. Ford Drive in New Lenox. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m.  Music and shared Memories by friends and Family welcome.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James C. Santoro, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 29, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

American Legion Post 1977

14414 Ford Drive, New Lenox, IL 60451

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