Michael Louis Santangelo of Rye, NY passed away on September 11, 2018. Born in New York City on July 29, 1930, he was the son of Louis F.X. Santangelo and Marie Del Greco Santangelo. Michael graduated LaSalle Academy Class of ’47, St. Bonaventure University Class of ’51 with a B.S. degree and St. John’s Law School Class of ’59 earning his L.L.M. and J.D. He earned distinction graduating Cum Laude, and receiving the Civil Practice Award, Evidence Award and Roman Law Award. He was also co-founder and President of the Henry de Bracton Chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
Michael faithfully served his country in the United States Air Force from 1951-1955. There he earned the United Nations Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. For the successful completion of a very serious, risky assignment, “Operation High Flight” in a single engine Jet Fighter over Greenland and Iceland to Scotland and Paris, Michael was awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Accomplishment as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
Michael was a lawyer in private practice in Criminal Law until his retirement in 2001. He was a member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation from 1984-2018 and served as President and Chairman of the Board. There he established the Columbus Gold Star Education Fund for children of deceased military of the Gulf War; started the High School Scholarship Fund for Italian American students and initiated Italian Language Studies at the Foundation for members and non-members. For the first time a “Salute to Italy Today” was held during the Annual Columbus Day Weekend that highlighted the best of Italy in business, tourism and culture of today and fostered the rich Italian heritage and culture of the past. As Chair of the Law Committee he was instrumental in creating the video “The Italians and the Creation of America”.
Among his honors, Michael was bestowed the distinguished rank of Cavaliere in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy in 1993. He was very proud of his Italian heritage and was always in the forefront of honoring and fostering his Italian culture. Michael also enjoyed cooking, golf, classical and country music and sports.
Michael is survived by his loving wife of 27 years RoseMarie Gallina-Santangelo, his children Louis, Dara, and Francis; his 4 grandchildren Michael Damato, Robert Damato, Michael M. Santangelo, and Carley Santangelo; and by his brother George L. Santangelo.
The family will receive friends at the Graham Funeral Home in Rye, NY on Sunday September 16, 2018 from 4:00-8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday September 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM at the Church of the Resurrection. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Michael’s name to the Fisher House Foundation, www.fisherhouse.org.