THOMAS SANTIAGO
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SANTIAGO--Thomas. On October 26, 2020, Thomas Santiago, 63, of West Milford NJ died from complications from metastatic cancer. Thomas Santiago was born on February 16th, 1957 in the Bronx, NY to Tomas and Margarita Santiago, who migrated to New York City from Puerto Rico in the 1940's. As a small child he showed a clear purpose and independence - ironing and organizing his clothes by himself! After graduating from Adlai Stevenson High School in 1974, he started working as a construction worker in the high-rise business and would himself steadily rise to become a construction manager, layout engineer and project manager. He would eventually join and lead Citigroup's North America real estate operations. A skilled and empathetic manager who earned senior leadership positions despite not having completed college, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Real Estate from NYU in 2009. In 2017 The Hispanic Executive honored Tom as one of their "Top 10 Lideres" in industry, heralding him as "The Designer," a creator of great environments that enable a great employee experience. As guest editor Javier Palomarez, observed "While most of us may not recognize the meticulous planning that goes into our physical workspace, we certainly know when something is amiss. Thanks to his leadership, Tom's colleagues are able to work in an environment that allows them to perform at their best." As a Latino Executive, Tom was a generous mentor to many professionals and a promoter of Hispanic businesses as a fundraiser for the National Hispanic Business Group. He was also an active supporter of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and served on the national board of directors for the DRI's empire ball. After two decades with Citigroup, he went on to serve as Senior Vice President for Global Real Estate for WarnerMedia where he oversaw the sale of the Time Warner Center and the development of the new corporate headquarters. This accomplishment, which involved the complex move from eight buildings to a single one at the Hudson Yards on Manhattan's west side would be both the pinnacle and capstone of his career and represents an enduring contribution to the world of corporate real estate. Tom always found himself in motion - training for marathons, cycling races, and hiking abroad. An avid fisherman, we would cast his line around the world. Later in his life, he became a golf enthusiast where he spent countless hours honing his craft on and off the course. A voracious reader and engaged learner, Tom had an insatiable intellectual curiosity, a passion for art, a distinct affinity for wine, and a keen eye for interior design which was curated by his own sensibilities and refined by his close relationships with friends and colleagues. Tom cherished and cultivated these relationships, especially with his family and epitomized the phrase "zest for life." He is preceded in death by his father Tomas, his mother Margarita, and his daughter Lulu. He is survived by his loving wife Lourdes, three sons Christopher, Matthew, and Justin and seven grandchildren, Ryan, Isaia, Bianca, Christian, Erielle, Thomas and Lucia. Tom is also survived by his daughters-in-law, Amber, Katie and daughter- in-law to be April; his aunts Irma, Elsa and Uncle Hector; his sisters Margaret and Miriam as well as several nephews, nieces, and cousins. As Tom recently observed: "I used to think that the most important thing in life was Happiness (to be happy). But I was wrong, the first, and most important, is Gratitude. Gratitude is first, then comes Happiness." We are grateful to have had Tom impact our lives with such vigorous generosity.


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Published in New York Times on Nov. 22, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
November 23, 2020
Tom you were such an amazing role model of what a father, grandfather, friend & husband should be. Thank you for being so warm and welcoming and accepting us into to your lives. We never told you this, but we admired and looked up to you so much. We will miss you with all of our hearts. Love you... Phil, Lisette & Philip
The Berrocales'
Family
November 23, 2020
Tommy will be sorely missed. A pillar of his family and community. I remember back in Stevenson H.S. where his light already shined. Although he was 4 yrs older than I, as a popular senior he always made sure to acknowledged me as family. I was always super shy and he sadly never knew just how much that meant to me. He had a following back then which continued as an adult. I know the Santiago family loved him so, as well as my brother Angel. What a great closely knit family. Something to admire and aspire to. As a younger adult I recall some of those Santiago family reunions and I thought the Rivera's, my family was big, whew.

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Gina Rivera
Family
November 23, 2020
Tommy will be sorely missed. A pillar of his family and community. I remember back in Stevenson H.S. where his light already shined. Although he was 4 yrs older than I, as a popular senior he always made sure to acknowledged me as family. I was always super shy and he sadly never knew just how much that meant to me. He had a following back then which continued as an adult. I know the Santiago family loved him so, as well as my brother Angel. What a great closely knit family. Something to admire and aspire to. As a younger adult I recall some of those Santiago family reunions and I thought the Rivera's, my family was big, whew.

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Gina Rivera
Family
November 22, 2020
I can't believe you are gone. I will miss you everyday of my life. You were our rock. But what will help me cope is the wonderful memories we all shared. Like what Miriam said, vacations, many family gatherings, holidays and birthdays. It was very special to me that we shared the same birthday month and celebrated many of our birthdays together. I will never forget your 60th and my 70th birthday party, you made it so special. You were always there for all of us, especially for our parents. You will always have a special place in my heart.
Love You always, your sister Margaret
Margarita Cruz
Sister
November 22, 2020
My wonderful Tio, my heart hurts. I am so appreciative of the person you were. The way you loved your family was done so effortlessly and is so admirable. I am blessed to be your niece and have you as an example to live by. I can only hope to be half the person you were. Love you always
Amanda Johnson
Family
November 22, 2020
Tommy we will miss u so. Primo I loved u. I still remember when u came to see me when i lost Tim. I still see u walking in and giving me a special hug. I
Can still feel that hug. U were a very dear and special son,brother,husband, father,friend and cousin.
You will be loved and missed dearly
God bless u always and ur beautiful family .
Betty Roman
Family
November 22, 2020
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Betty Roman
Family
November 22, 2020
He never forgot where he came from. What a great loss.
Hector De Jesus
Family
November 22, 2020
It’s still unbelievable to me that you are no longer with us. Although we’re all broken hearted, I choose to remember the great times we shared and celebrate your amazing life. Vacations, family birthdays, holiday celebrations are among the many great memories I will always cherish. You always gave so much of yourself to our parents, to Margaret and me, to your wonderful wife Lourdes (to whom we are so grateful for her selflessness and devotion to you especially during the hardest times), your children, grandchildren, extended family and friends. I will never forget your wonderful smile and zest for life.

All Our Love, Always, Your Sister Miriam and Brother-in-Law, Angel
Miriam Rivera
Sister
November 22, 2020
We miss you so much Dad. Our world will never be the same without you as much as we have to push on. You are gone far to soon and wanted to share so many more great and beautiful memories with you. My heart is still broken and regret missing out on all the other times we could have spent taking for granted that tomorrow was guaranteed when in fact it wasn't. You taught us so much and had so much more to teach us but will honor you with every day of my breath wishing we could wake up from this bizarre world that no longer has you. We love you, we miss you and we grieve for you.
Christopher P. Santiago
Son
November 22, 2020
We love you - and will honor your legacy for years to come. It will carry on this earth well beyond our years. We wish you gratitude and peace!
Justin Santiago
Son
November 22, 2020
We love you Pop - we wish you gratitude, and peace. All will be taken care of, don't worry about a thing. Your legacy will live on beyond our years on this earth.
Justin Santiago
Son
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