Louis “Lou” Anthony Santangelo passed away July 18,2019 at Azura Memory Care in Wausau, Wisconsin, 17 months after a devastating stroke.
Born January 10, 1945, in Youngstown, Ohio, Lou was the fourth of five children born to Louis and Grace (Ceremeli) Santangelo.
Lou graduated from Rayen High in Youngstown, earned a B.A. from Kent State, and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He met his one and only girlfriend, Lynne Puttmann, during their Peace Corps training. They married January 6, 1968, in Lima, Peru.
After serving two years in the Peace Corps, Lou began his teaching career at Wausau Senior High, transferring to Wausau West when it opened a year later. He cared deeply for his students and never stopped thinking of ways to help them learn to welcome diversity of thought and customs. He retired after 32 years of teaching Spanish.
Lou loved his family, his church, his community, and his work. He enjoyed telling stories, baking, working with wood, and taking photographs. He delighted in sharing his interests and skills with anyone.
Lou was proud of his Italian heritage.
A founder of Wausau’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, Lou also participated in the CROP Hunger walk from its inception and became one of its leaders. He chaired First English Lutheran’s Church in Society Committee for many years and advocated for ecumenical and interfaith collaboration through organizations including Faith in Action and N.A.O.M.I.
Lou was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Flora Cepin, Rita (Stanley) Bundza, and Vincent Santangelo. He is survived by his wife and children Maria (Robert) Barrett, Dina (Charles) Mitchell, David (Tracy) Santangelo, and Robert Santangelo. Lou also is survived by grandchildren Deja Mitchell; Natalie, Louis, and Vanessa Barrett; and Grace and Joseph Santangelo. He is further survived by his sister Valerie (Paul) Golubic; sisters-in-law Sharon Puttmann (Lee Schmidt) and Lucille Santangelo; brothers-in-law Paul (Deb) Puttmann, and George Cepin; and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
A service of thanksgiving for Lou’s life will be held at First English Lutheran Church, Wausau, on Sunday, July 28, 2019. Visitation begins at 3:00 PM with the service starting at 5:00 PM. Rev. Erik Olson will officiate. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to International Rescue Committee’s Border Crisis Watch (International Rescue Committee P.O. Box 6068, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9847 or https://help.rescue.org/donate), Habitat for Humanity of Wausau (https://habitatwausau.org/), Heifer International (https://www.heifer.org/campaign/end-hunger-poverty-donation.html), or a local food pantry of your choice.
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