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Arlington Park Cemetery & Funeral Home
6920 Lone Star Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32211
(904) 724-6384

MAX SANTIAGO

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MAX SANTIAGO Obituary
SANTIAGO Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com Max I. Santiago, 89, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2013. Max was born in Camiling Tarlac, Philippines to Melecio & Leonarda Santiago. Orphaned at age 5 by the death of his father, he was raised by his mother & maternal grandparents during the depression the darkest & hardest yrs of his life. In 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor & started WW2 another hard and rocky 3 yrs began. As the Japanese ran all over the Philippines & the Allied Forces surrendered culminating the infamous Baton Death March that killed hundreds of POWs; his army reserve company disbanded. He joined the underground guerilla forces which harassed, sabotaged & used hit & run tactics for 3 yrs against the enemy. In 1945 as the Allied Forces liberated the Island Republic he joined the US Navy. He served on the USS Tarawa after boot camp. The ship went around the world in 1949 & he transferred to the USS Chukowan A0100 that went to Thule, Greenland to supply & support the construction of a USAF base in the land of the midnight sun. In 1948 he was assigned on the USS Opportune ARS41 home ported in San Juan, PR. where he met the beautiful Maria Victoria Valles. After 3 yrs of a whirlwind courtship they married in 1951. He served on various sea & shore duty stations & considered his duties on the staff of South Atlantic Fleet the most interesting & rewarding. The South Atlantic Fleet headed Naval United operations yearly with South American Naval Forces, such as Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chili, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, & Panama. These fleets incumbent the South American countries & vice versa annually. Max, having crossed the equator 6 times & the Panama Canal 3 times was awarded a certificate of Distinction Order of the Salty High Liners, transferring from the USS McCoy (DE10385) to the USS Josephus Daniels (NLG27) at sea in Sept. 1968. In 1969 he transferred to Boca Chica Naval Station, Key West, FL onboard USS Gilmore (AS18). Moved back to USNS Roosevelt Roads, PR for his twilight duty preparing to retire. He served 30 honorable yrs as a SCPO E8. Max was a member of the Masonic Fraternal organization. He was Past Master twice of his Blue Lodge Morlight 105 in Fajardo, PR. Past Commander of PR commanding #1 Knight Templur, Past High Priest of Borinquen Chapter #1 Royal Arch Masons. A member of Abou Saad Shrine, he & Maria dedicated their retired life to volunteer work for the Philadelphia crippled & Boston burned & crippled children hospitals that deploy twice a year, respectively to examine children no older than 18 yrs old of free treatment & consultation. He was also a member of the Royal Order of Constantine, Royal Order of Scotland, Royal Order of Eastern Star, Royal Order of Jester, Past Commander Shrine Leagues of Honor & the Philippines Masonic Association of America. He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, Inspector General Honorary Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Southern Jurisdiction USA. He was also the Past Patron of Juanita Chapter 1 Order Eastern Star. His non Masonic fraternal organizations were Past Exalted Ruler Benevolent Protector Order of Elks (BPOE), Past Commander American Legion Post 26, the Retired Enlisted Association, Korean Veterans Association, Past President of Phil/Am Club of PR & Past President of Phil/Am Club of Key West, FL. He is preceded by his wife Maria of 58 wonderful & happy years. He is survived by his 4 children, sons Eusebio & Rudy Santiago, daughters, Ida Blelis (Tim), Victoria Maier (Don), 9 grandchildren, Rommel, Emma, Roy & Ryan Santiago, Jayson & Jessica Lopez, Maria Santiago, Max & Mallory Maier & 8 great grandchildren. Max will be missed by all of his family, friends & Masonic Fraternal brothers & their families. The family will receive friends from 12PM- 2PM, Thursday, May 30, 2013, with a Celebration of Life 2PM in the chapel of the funeral home, with Father Richard Perko officiating. Interment will immediately follow at Arlington Park Cemetery. Full Military Honors will be rendered in recognition of Senior Chief Petty Officer Max Santiago's service to this great country. There will also be a Masonic Rites Funeral Ceremony, graveside, as well as participation from our local Filipino Veterans organization. A reception will be held 5PM, on the same day, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center. Arrangements are under the direction and care of Arlington Funeral Home and Cemetery, 6920 Lone Star Road, Jacksonville, FL 32211 (904) 724-6384.
Published in the Florida Times-Union on May 26, 2013
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