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Beatrice Santora

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NEWTON -- Beatrice Santora, 91, of Newton, died peacefully with her loving family by her side Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, at her home following a long illness. Born in Newark, she had lived many years in the Iselin section of Woodbridge Township until moving to Newton in 1962.

Daughter of the late Joseph and Josephine (Dana) Dispenziere, Beatrice was a World War II bride, marrying Joseph Santora in 1942 just before he left for the fighting in Europe. They would remain married and always be together for almost 70 years until Joseph predeceased her in 2010. Beatrice was a devout parishioner of the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Newton, where she was an active member and past president of the Rosary Altar Society for many years.

A loving and dedicated homemaker, Beatrice sacrificed her own needs for those of her beloved family. She was known as an excellent cook by all those who warmly entered her home, where she always provided a great meal in a warm and friendly surrounding. Strangers, friends, neighbors and relatives were all treated as family. Beatrice never failed to share her talents, conversations and her skills with all those who knew her. She never failed to leave a lasting memory. And she always felt blessed by the presence of those who were around her. Hers was a joyous life that was worth living.

Survivors include her daughters, Beatrice and her late husband, Richard, Balakonis, Theresa and her husband, George Dearness; her son Joseph and his wife, Sandra, Santora; her sisters, Ann Guarino and Grace Padilla; her brother Joseph Dispenziere; her grandchildren Susan, Lori, Nancy, Tara, Michael, Tracey, Bryan and Andrea; and her great-grandchildren Michael John, Daniel, Jennifer, Nicholas, Brandy and Matthew.

A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. in the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Newton, immediately followed by entombment in the church cemetery, Newton. Visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home, 156 Main St. (Route 206), Newton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Karen Ann Quinlan Center of Hope Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ 07860.

Online condolences may be made through

Published in The New Jersey Herald on Oct. 18, 2013
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