POLAND, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Eugene Frank “Gene” Santoro, 86, of Poland, passed away Tuesday afternoon, June 6, 2023 with his loving family by his side.

He was born November 2, 1936 in Columbus, the son of Nicholas and Catherine (Antolino) Santoro and moved to the Youngstown area as a child. While growing up on Wood Street, Gene made many lifelong friendships from the families in Smokey Hollow and on the east side.

Gene graduated from East High School in 1954 and then earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Youngstown State University and his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Westminster College. Gene felt compelled to return to school at The Ohio State University where he received his Special Education Certificate to teach the blind and handicapped.

Gene followed his passion and entered the work force as a teacher with the Lake Milton School System and then with the Youngstown City School System. Gene was in supervision with Trumbull County, Warren City, Mahoning County, Ashtabula and Mentor School Systems. He was especially proud to have taught and helped so many blind students learn Braille to communicate with each other. Gene retired after 36 years in education but found himself missing it so much that he returned as a substitute teach at Holy Family School in Poland. He cherished all the students and teachers he has had interaction with over the years, many of whom still reached out to Gene after their own retirements.

Gene was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica and Holy Family Parish.

He was a life-member of YMCA in Downtown Youngstown, a Men’s group called the “Gyros”, an Italian Gourmet Dinner Club that met monthly and his every Friday Night Dinner Club. Gene loved and enjoyed coaching Little League Baseball for his son, John and Slow Pitch Softball for his daughter, Jeannine.

Gene leaves behind to hold onto his precious memories his wife of over 61 years, the former Lorraine Lamm, whom he married on July 8, 1961 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church; his beloved children, Jeannine Santoro of Boardman and John Santoro of Poland; his grandchildren, Angelina (Christian) Wiand, Emily Egelhoff and Tristan Egelhoff and was looking forward to seeing his first great-granddaughter, Daisy, whom will be born in August, along with nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Besides his parents, Gene was preceded in death by a brother, A. Ron Santoro and a stepmother, Sue DeGeorge.

Gene will always be remembered for his smile, generosity and his love toward family and everyone he encountered.

Family and friends may pay their respects on Monday, June 12, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman.

There will be a Funeral Mass Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, 343 Via Mount Carmel, Youngstown with the Very Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Cariglio as celebrant. Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church to celebrate Gene’s Mass.

In lieu of flowers, material contributions may be made in Gene’s name to the Rich Center for Autism, 1 University Plaza, Youngstown OH 44555.

Family and friends may visit rossisantuccifh.com to send condolences to Gene’s family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eugene Frank “Gene” Santoro, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Monday, June 12 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.