Antonio "Tony" Santellanes Jr, age 86, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 9, 2021, at home with his family by his side.
He joined the army in 1950 and is a veteran of the Korean War era. He opened his own garage "Tony's Enco Service Station" in Wilmington. He worked at Servomation and Cal State Long Beach as an engineer where he retired in 1993. He was wise beyond his education and was a "Macgyver" of sorts. He saved everything as he would say, "you never know when you will need it". He had a sharp mind as well as memory. He preferred to do things himself as no one does it the right way; his way.
He provided for his family and instilled morals such as integrity and responsibility. Unfortunately, he was injured while in the military and had a long life of chronic pain; but he did not like to show it. He did not let it stop him from doing what he wanted. In the 70s, he enjoyed having parties at home where he had a bar, dance floor, jukebox, and a game room. Anyone who knew him, would say he would help anyone who needed it. He had a way to make you laugh with his stubborn, sarcastic personality. He enjoyed being around his family and friends, working on vehicles, camping & RVing as well as going to garage sales. Boy, the stories he would tell. He had determination and a strong will to fight until the very end.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joanne and 7 children: Tony, Dianne (Derek), Jack, Caroline (Rob), Sharon (Robin), Ruby, & Larry; 10 Grandchildren: Jason, Shawn, Jesse, Ryan, Taylor, Megan, Stephanie, Skyler, Madison & Trevor; 5 Great Grandchildren: Kade, Sophia, Kanen, Mason & Chloe and his sister, Marcella Padilla, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his daughter Annette, his parents and his sister Helen Nieto.
The family wishes to thank Jen Parker, his speech therapist of Kaiser Home Health, for her continued determination to help him gain his voice back. In addition, we would like to thank Mary (Bombom) of Ocean View Hospice for her caring professionalism and comforting compassion during his final days.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute donation in his honor to ASPCA. He loved his dogs. I know he is in Heaven with loved ones and his dogs, kicking back in a lounge chair joking and laughing with never-ending cheeseburgers and vanilla shakes. He will be deeply missed every day. May his memory live on in all who knew him. May he finally rest in peace, no longer in pain. Until we see each other again. Love and miss you so much!
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