Spoiling the Girls
When the Santores traveled, a few things always accompanied them: candles and two Champagne glasses wrapped in a towel. The candles were store-bought; the glasses were a relic. They were the same glasses John A. Santore and Frances Scarselli used to drink to their happiness the night he asked her to marry him. Mr. Santore asked the waiter if he could keep them.
Both the candles and the glasses were necessary tools for Mr. Santore, a firefighter with Ladder Company 5 on Staten Island, the father of two girls, 20 and 13, and a romantic.
"He would set the table with the candles and the flowers and the wine and then cook for us," Mrs. Santore said. "We are three girls in the home, so he would always spoil us."
On weekend mornings, Mr. Santore would run to a deli to buy coffee and croissants for the family so they would not have to cook. During the week, he would often surprise his wife with a bunch of wildflowers.
When someone mentioned the need for a maritime museum on Staten Island to honor John Noble, a famed local artist, Mr. Santore, 49, formed what he called the Noble Crew to build it, his wife said.
"He was wonderful with his hands," she said. `There was nothing he couldn't do."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 15, 2001.