Ernestine K. Santaniello, 93, of Norwalk, passed away at home on July 2, 2021. She was the wife of the late State Senator Andrew J. Santaniello. Ernestine was born in Dewey, OK on November 17, 1927, the daughter of the late Ernest and H. Alberta (Scott) Koester.
Ernestine will be remembered for her love and commitment to educating children. She was a teacher in the Norwalk Public Schools for over 30 years. A trailblazer, she fearlessly challenged and improved Connecticut’s education system. After retiring, Ernestine was elected Commissioner of the First District Water Department. She was a member of the DAR and volunteered on the Ward A Republican Town Committee, at the School Sisters of Notre Dame and at St. Mary’s Women’s Guild.
Ernestine loved poetry and storytelling as well as her home state of Oklahoma. She welcomed everyone with utmost respect. She had friends of all ages and walks of life visiting her until her final days. Having lived in the same house for over 60 years, her friends and family always knew where to go.
Survivors include two daughters, Marie DeSantis (Robert) of Wilton and
Cynthia Shillinglaw (Kenneth) of Norwalk; nine grandchildren, Elizabeth, Matthew,
Nicholas, Andrew, Joseph, Michael, William, Sarah and Christopher; six great grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by her sister, Mary Beth Koester, of Bartlesville OK.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, July 9, 10:30 AM at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 229 Danbury Road Wilton, (livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfVIf-Lt8r4 ) with burial after at St. John Cemetery in Norwalk. A reception will follow the burial.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider one of the following:
1. Request a special Mass through the Seraphic Mass Association online at https:// mymassrequest.org/ or by calling 1-877-737-9050 (or a Mass Association of your choice).
2. Donations to The LAM Foundation at: https://thelamfoundation.org/Take-Action/Donate-Now
The LAM Foundation, 4520 Cooper Road, Suite 300, Cincinnati, OH 45242 or
3. A donation to a Native American charity of your choosing.