AGE: 79 • Wilmington
Passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, September 1st. He was
born in Wilmington, Delaware on June 23, 1935 to the late Peter Anthony
and Alfea (Nee: Neri) Santoro. He was predeceased by his sister Alberta
Camoirano and wife Barbara K. Santoro.
Prior to starting an international supply and exporting business of high
temperature flame and heat resistant textiles and products in 1994, Al
worked for 30 years with the manufacturing facility, Haveg Industries.
At a very early age, "Big Al," as his friends would call him, discovered
a love for playing reed instruments… first the clarinet and then the
saxophone. In 1951, at the age of 16, he formed his first band, The
Stardusters, playing mostly at school dances around the area. He later
renamed his band, Al Santoro and the Hi-Liters, and has entertained
those within the Tri-State area for 63 years - at more weddings followed
by anniversaries followed by second and third generation weddings to
count. In addition to playing in his own band, he was a member of the
287th Army Band playing for dignitaries, politicians, and even a couple
Most recently, Al truly enjoyed playing with so many countless and
talented musicians from across the State as well as tooting his horn as
a member of several area big bands. He forged lasting friendships from
playing music and he always cherished the times he spent with his fellow
He loved music dearly, but also found great joy in gardening and
spending time at the beach. Al always loved travel, and over time, had
visited many countries outside of the United States (with Italy taking
the number one spot).
From the bandstand at Bellevue Park to the boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach,
Al brought unlimited joy to so many throughout our community. Behind the
scenes, he was very active with area not-for-profit organizations
helping to bring funding and awareness to each cause. These groups
included serving the Board of Trustees for Societi da Vinci and Italo-Americans
United; Chairman Emeritas of Delaware All-State Theatre; Delaware
Hospice volunteer; and one of the first presidents to lead the Board of
Trustees for Delaware Children's Theatre.
Albert Santoro is survived by his brother Arthur Santoro and his wife
Renee of Landenberg, PA; his daughter Deena Santoro of Wilmington, DE;
his son Anthony Santoro and his wife Kristina of Newark, DE; his son
Nick Santoro of Wilmington, DE; his son Jeffrey Santoro of Wilmington,
DE; his grandchildren: Ryszard, Dmitrik, Anthony, and Brandon.
Al will be missed dearly by his beloved nephews, nieces, extended
family, friends, and his companion Doris Emory.