April 28, 1936 - March 6, 2021
Ignacio Santiago, Jr. (aka Junior; J.R.), born April 28, 1936 in New York City, went to his eternal home on March 6, 2021 in Kissimmee, Florida at the age of 84 following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Ignacio is survived by his loving wife of 64 years; Amparo Santiago, and daughters Diane (John) Rodriguez and Celine (Charles) Hall. He was the proud grandfather of Phillip (Kanako) Bennett, Sefton aka Jimmie, Allazandra and Trinity Bass, and great-grandfather to Mei Amparo Suto-Bennett. He was the eldest of seven children and is also survived by brothers Norman (Zaida), Ronald (Norma) and Kevin (Carmen) Santiago, sister Yvette (Luis) Nieves, and numerous nieces and nephews. Ignacio was predeceased by his father and mother Ignacio and Gloria Santiago, daughters Gloria and Lisa Santiago, brother Carlito Santiago and sister Carol Delzatto. Ignacio first laid eyes on the love of his life; Amparo, at the tender age of 10, and knew even then that she would one day be his bride. Early in life, Ignacio knew that through hard work and focus, he would be able to achieve his dreams. He enjoyed bodybuilding and would lift weights with his brother Norman and their buddies. As a young man, he used that strength to haul ice up numerous flights of stairs, deliver newspapers at the crack of dawn on his bike, and even worked in the local public library. It all paid off and by the age of 17, he was able to invest in his first piece of real estate. This work ethic continued when he joined the National Army Reserve; earning the rank of Master Sergeant, where he led a kitchen staff that fed more than 1,000 other reservists and officers. It was there that he learned to enjoy not only the eating, but the cooking as well. In December 1956, Ignacio and his new bride Amparo tied the knot, settling down in Long Island, New York where they raised their family. The young couple enjoyed going to the drive-in theater, camping, frequenting night clubs to see famous bands and dancing to latin music and doo-wop. Ignacio was even known as ‘crazy legs’ when dancing the merengue. Ignacio became a machinist but changed careers, becoming a valued employee of Sunoco gasoline for over 25 years as a fuel transporter where he received several commendations and awards for safe driving. Although Ignacio worked hard, he also played hard. He was an avid outdoorsman - enjoying hunting, fishing, and camping. He would regularly hunt rabbit and deer and enjoyed training his beagles. Ignacio also fished at every opportunity in the Great South Bay on his boat. Over the years, he not only taught his brothers the skills of hunting and fishing, but his daughters and grandson as well. He took great pride in his home - both the interior and exterior with a front lawn that never had a single weed. Later in life he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and became active in the church, joining the softball league, actively participating in bible studies and even accepted a role as one of the three Kings in the live nativity with his grandson Phillip. Following his retirement, Ignacio remained active for several more years learning to play the guitar, building birdhouses, cooking, playing basketball and chess with his grandson Phillip, swimming, bike riding, and travelling with Amparo and his adult daughters to various destinations including the Grand Canyon, Puerto Rico, Cancun, and Las Vegas (where he savored his $2 steak dinner!). He was always ready to play dominoes and was an expert in the game. Not only did he teach his daughters and grandson Phillip to play, but in his later years he enjoyed challenging (and winning) against his aides. Ignacio and Amparo made their way south to Florida in 1999, finally settling in Kissimmee, Florida. It was here that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. With Amparo by his side, he endured and fought the good fight for many years - never complaining. He adored his family and his main mission in life was to take care of them and he did - always going above and beyond. He will be remembered as a great man to all who knew him - a pillar of strength to his wife, a champion to his daughters, a role model to his grandchildren, and as a protector to his parents and siblings. Ignacio will forever be missed but never forgotten.
Ignacio Santiago, Jr. (aka Junior; J.R.), born April 28, 1936 in New York City, went to his eternal home on March 6, 2021 in Kissimmee, Florida at the age of 84 following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Ignacio is survived by his... View Obituary & Service Information
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