Cover photo for Santo Sandona's Obituary
1930 Santo 2022

Santo Sandona

June 3, 1930 — July 20, 2022

Santo Peter Sandona passed away July 20th, 2022 at Countryside Manor, in Sheboygan, WI at 92 years old.

Born June 3rd, 1930 in Iron Mountain, Michigan, Santo “Pete” was the son of the late John and Mary Basso Sandona. He came from a very large Italian family and was one of 3 sets of twins.  He graduated from Iron Mountain High School in 1947 and married Dorothy Elaine “Dot” Ruffatto, June 27, 1953 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Iron Mountain.  Pete and Dorothy celebrated 66 years of marriage.

Pete was in the US Navy earning multiple military decorations from January, 1950 to November, 1954 including one year at sea on the USS Midway during the Korean War, and was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina.  During his lifetime they lived in many places due to his career with the automobile industry beginning in the late 1950s with Ford Motor company in Wayne, MI.  In 1964 he took a job with American Motors in Milwaukee and moved to Cedarburg, WI. He then worked for Chrysler in Kenosha in 1977 with a special assignment in Beijing, China to start a Jeep/Renault plant in 1986.  He finished his career retiring from Chrysler at 60 years old in October, 1990.  Pete studied electrical engineering during his tenure in the automobile industry.

Pete and his late wife had a hobby farm in Cedarburg in 1972, where he raised steer, horses, geese, ducks, beagles and his dog, “Shep”.  He loved to smoke a good fish on his hobby farm. He enjoyed horse life and traveling to horse shows when both his daughters showed English hunt seat.

Pete was an avid cook and gardener and built their family home in Twin Lakes, WI in 1994.  He enjoyed renovating a home on 72 acres in Portage, WI with barn boards from a barn he tore down in the Kettle Moraine where he and his son spent many years hunting.  He loved the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing trips in Canada, hunting and PPG racing with family and friends. He enjoyed hockey camps and traveling with his grandson.  He enjoyed spending winters in Florida with his late wife Dorothy who passed away April 2nd, 2019.  His children, grandson and great grandson were his pride and joy!

Pete is survived by three children Brian P. of Slinger, WI; twins Sherri (Mike) Sandona Kamenski of Grafton, WI and Sharon (David Lepp) of Green Bay, WI., one grandson Brian D. of Grafton, WI, and a great grandson Santo Atlas O’Neill Sandona.   Also survived by brother Al (Judy) Sandona of Marquette, MI., and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and special friends Sue (late Vince) Stromei and son Joseph (Jessi) and Elsie (late Dennis) Montone.

There will be no visitation.

Burial Mass will be held at the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 500 Blaine St, Iron Mountain, MI., on September 16. 2022 at 10 a.m. with Military Honors to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Santo’s name (US Navy) to the Upper Peninsula Veteran’s War Memorial and Park, 609 Kennedy Road, Iron Mountain, MI  49801 or Upper Peninsula Honor Flight, 7508 J Road, Gladstone, MI   49837

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Santo Sandona, please visit our flower store.


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