Thomas E. Santacroce passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at age 89. He was surrounded by his family in his East Marion home.
Tom lived the entirety of his life on Long Island. He was born on June 25, 1930, in Jamaica, Queens. The youngest of four children, he grew up working at his father’s bowling alley on Front Street in Greenport. Having spent countless hours setting pins for the bowlers, he grew to love the sport. With his father as a mentor, he joined the local bowling league, which he was a member of for many years. Shortly after graduating from Greenport High School he was drafted into the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany, where he aided the rebuilding effort following the end of the war.
On April 18, 1959, Tom married Marian Cherepowich, daughter of local farmers Joe and Sophie Cherepowich of East Marion.
Following his lifelong prospect of becoming a police officer, he would spend the next 23 years working for the Greenport Village Police Department. Tom was often seen attending Mass in his uniform at St. Agnes R.C. Church, where he was a lifelong member and usher. Throughout his entire life, he dedicated his work to serving the community.
When he had time off, he made sure to support his children’s sporting events at Greenport High School, even once giving one of them an unexpected ride to the emergency room! Being an avid Yankees fan, he frequently went to baseball games at Yankee Stadium with his family and friends. If he wasn’t able to make it to the stadium, he was sure to catch it on TV.
He also enjoyed going to Riverhead Raceway with his grandchildren and good friend Geoffrey Hallenbeck to watch their friend Chris Turbush tear up the racetrack! He also enjoyed many visits from Mike Sage Sr.
Tom was predeceased by his parents, Michael and Jessie, and brother, Vincent Santacroce. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marian; his children, Tom Jr. (Helen) of Manorville, Terri Smith (Joe) of Franklin, Tenn., and Debbie of East Marion; his grandchildren, Amanda (Moke) Kahalehoe, Matthew, Ashley, Andrew and Allyson Santacroce, and Mark and Eric Smith; and great-grandchildren, Namiah Santacroce and Leilana, Isabella and Chase Kahalehoe. He is also survived by his sister, Eleanor Skwara of Greenport, and brother, Alfred Santacroce of Woodstock, Ga.
A private burial was held at St. Agnes Cemetery on April 1, with Father Richard Hoerning officiating. A “Celebration of Life” will take place at a future date. Horton-Mathie Funeral Home assisted the family.
Memorial donations may be made in his honor to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital by calling 1-800-822-6344 or Joe Cherry Choo Choo Restoration Project Rotary Club of Greenport Charitable Fund, P.O. Box 204, Greenport, NY 11944.
The family would like to thank Father Richard Hoerning of St. Agnes R.C. Church; Southold Town Police; and a special thank-you to East Marion Fire Department; and family and friends for their many acts of kindness, flowers, food, telephone calls and cards. A special thanks to Ashley for her unending care of her Pop Pop. We will never forget this community.
This is a paid notice.