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Dorothy Jean Peterson Santoro

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Dorothy Jean Peterson Santoro Obituary
Santoro, Dorothy Jean Peterson
was born December 20, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois, the only child of Dr. Carl E. Peterson and Mary Ellen Gordon Peterson, RN, and died October 2, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona. Jean graduated from Fenger High School and the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. While working in the food lab at Swift & Co in Chicago, Jean met Richard Santoro and they married in 1948 and moved to Arizona in 1952. She worked for DES for many years in Coolidge, Mesa and Phoenix. During the Coolidge years, the family owned Rick's Restaurant where Jean did all of the bookkeeping. Jean always focused on her family; sewing all of her daughter's clothes when they were children, baking fantastic cookies and being the best listener there ever was. Jean was calm, patient, open-minded, non-judgmental and loved to laugh. But when her hands were on her hips and all her daughter's names came streaming out of her mouth one after another, you knew you were in big trouble! She loved to shop, always hiding a few bags in the closet, and bringing the items out slowly over time, so no one was the wiser. Jean loved comfortable chairs and always had at least four in her living room. In her later years, Jean was an avid member of her bowling team, the Dirty Birds, and loved going out with the girls for lunch once the bowling was done. One of her favorite roles was that of "grammy". She loved having all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren around her and always kept plenty of toys and cookies at her house. Here comes the list of names that Jean is mostly responsible for: Jean was pre-deceased by her son, Richard Lawrence Santoro in 1961, and her children's father Richard in 2002. Jean is survived and greatly missed by her daughters and sons-in-law, Karen Caraway (Brent), Sue McLaughlin, Betsy Slater (Earl) and Nancy Hinsch (Greg), and their brother Michael Santoro (fiancée Annie). Grandchildren, Aimee Slater-Martinez (Alex), Nathan Slater (April), Daniel McLaughlin (Meghan), David McLaughlin (Ally), Nicole Hinsch Camp (Tony), Joshua Hinsch (Mallory), Billy Caraway (fiancée Marie Adele) and Stephanie Caraway. Great-grandchildren are Kendall, Zachary, Jackson, Charli, Kamryn, Tatum, Stella, Vivian, Lyla, Jayde, Tony, Isabella, Sinai, Areli, Alena, Wyatt, Patrick and Jenna. Additional survivors include in-laws Larry and Joan Santoro, Virginia Thompson, Fran Kichty, Patricia James, her new friends and staff at Elmcroft, many nieces, nephews and cousins, relatives in Canada and perhaps anyone who met her and thought she was one of the nicest people they have ever met, unless you were a salesman trying to rip her off. A not so formal celebration of Jean's life will take place at a later date and interested parties will be contacted. Thanks Mom! We love you and will see you again!

Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 9, 2013
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