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Louis "Lou" Santangelo
Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service
302 Spruce St
Wausau, WI
Louis "Lou" Santangelo

Wausau - Louis "Lou" Anthony Santangelo passed away July 18,2019 at Azura Memory Care in Wausau, Wisconsin, 17 months after a devastating stroke.

Born January 10, 1945, in Youngstown, Ohio, Lou was the fourth of five children born to Louis and Grace (Ceremeli) Santangelo.

Lou graduated from Rayen High in Youngstown, earned a B.A. from Kent State, and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He met his one and only girlfriend, Lynne Puttmann, during their Peace Corps training. They married January 6, 1968, in Lima, Peru.

After serving two years in the Peace Corps, Lou began his teaching career at Wausau Senior High, transferring to Wausau West when it opened a year later. He cared deeply for his students and never stopped thinking of ways to help them learn to welcome diversity of thought and customs. He retired after 32 years of teaching Spanish.

Lou loved his family, his church, his community, and his work. He enjoyed telling stories, baking, working with wood, and taking photographs. He delighted in sharing his interests and skills with anyone.

Lou was proud of his Italian heritage.

A founder of Wausau's Habitat for Humanity chapter, Lou also participated in the CROP Hunger walk from its inception and became one of its leaders. He chaired First English Lutheran's Church in Society Committee for many years and advocated for ecumenical and interfaith collaboration through organizations including Faith in Action and N.A.O.M.I.

Lou was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Flora Cepin, Rita (Stanley) Bundza, and Vincent Santangelo. He is survived by his wife and children Maria (Robert) Barrett, Dina (Charles) Mitchell, David (Tracy) Santangelo, and Robert Santangelo. Lou also is survived by grandchildren Deja Mitchell; Natalie, Louis, and Vanessa Barrett; and Grace and Joseph Santangelo. He is further survived by his sister Valerie (Paul) Golubic; sisters-in-law Sharon Puttmann (Lee Schmidt) and Lucille Santangelo; brothers-in-law Paul (Deb) Puttmann, and George Cepin; and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

A service of thanksgiving for Lou's life will be held at First English Lutheran Church, Wausau, on Sunday, July 28, 2019. Visitation begins at 3:00 PM with the service starting at 5:00 PM. Rev. Erik Olson will officiate. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to International Rescue Committee's Border Crisis Watch (International Rescue Committee P.O. Box 6068, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9847 or, Habitat for Humanity of Wausau (, Heifer International (, or a local food pantry of your choice.

Published by Wausau Daily Herald from Jul. 22 to Jul. 25, 2019.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
First English Lutheran Church
Wausau, WI
First English Lutheran Church
Wausau, WI
Funeral services provided by:
Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service
Sponsored by Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
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7 Entries
Our hearts go out to Lynne and all her family with the anniversary of Lou's passing. We think of him often and miss his gentle kindness and creativity. The lives of many are better because of Lou.
Bill & Mary Ellen Schmelzer
July 13, 2020
SO... today I see a woman who looks just like his daughter and I decide to look him up on only to sadly see of his passing. Senor Santangelo was an exemplarery human being and kind man. I made his job a lot harder over my four years in his class and having had a forgein exchange student from Spain he was always so helpful!!! I will say a pray for all his family and be grateful for all the good he did in this world! love and prayers, "Palomita"
April 12, 2020
I'm so saddened by Senor Santangelo's passing. I have so many happy memories of 4 years in his Spanish class at Wausau West, Spanish Club and hanging out in the Foreign Language Resource Center because he was always so much fun.

He was filled with stories and always found a way to connect them to learning the language. He still comes up in conversation with my kids about my favorite teachers.

My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. He will be missed, but lives on in our memories and stories.

Kim Chicken, AKA Nina
Kim Knetter
August 29, 2019
Mr. Santangelo,

When I moved to Wausau as a young teenager I went to church camp and met Dave, my first Wausau friend. Through all the years of soccer, tennis, and church hanging out with Dave I would witness how you handled the world. The first time I ate real spaghetti was at your home and loved it.

It brings a smile and many chuckles to remember all the times me and Dave tested you with a lot of tomfoolery. You always held yourself together no matter how much we pushed you and I can hear your disgruntled' voice which brings a big smirk to my face. It was a life lesson on how to stay cool under pressure.

I'm honored to have known you and experience so many great and entertaining moments with Dave and in your presence. We will meet again some day, you're a great man.

My thoughts and prayers with Dave, Lynne, and the entire family. Peace

Todd Becker
August 7, 2019
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Lou, but grateful for his (and Lynne's) service to our nation with the Peace Corps in Peru.

Our Condolences,
The National Peace Corps Association
July 30, 2019
Evelyn Barth and her family feel great sympathy for your loss of this very special gentleman. We will all have you in thoughts and prayers.
July 28, 2019

Lou made our world better by his kindness, generosity, humor, wisdom and creativity, and those qualities are what we will miss most. Our hearts go out to Lynne and the family.
Mary Ellen & Bill Schmelzer
July 28, 2019
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