Robert “Smitty” J. Santel, age 86 of Damiansville, passed away on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at Clinton Manor Living Center in New Baden. He was born in Damiansville on April 9, 1934, the son of Clemens and Sarah (Lineman) Santel. He married Ellarine Fauke at St. George Church in New Baden on May 7, 1957 and she survives in Damiansville.
In addition to his wife of 63 years, he is survived by a daughter Sonja (Jeff) Jansen; two sons: Edward (Kristie) Santel and Chris Santel; nine grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren: siblings: Bernadine Koopmann, and Diane (Eugene) Masterson; brother-in-law Herman (Dolores) Fauke; sister-inlaw Esther Santel.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; two brothers: Alfred (Janet) Santel and Aloys Santel; his sister Delores (Jerome) Varel; and brother-in-law Ralph Koopman; mother-in-law Catherine Hug; father-in-law Edward Strake and father-in-law Adolf “Bud” Hug.
Mr. Santel was a veteran of the United States Army and served in the Korean War. He was the former commander of the Albers American Legion Post 1026 and the Catholic War Veterans. He was member of St. Damian Catholic Church and the men’s sodality. He worked for McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corporation for 35 years before his retirement and served as a trustee for Looking Glass Township for 25 years. Smitty enjoyed the outdoors, especially camping, hunting, fishing, and farming. He also enjoyed playing cards with family and friends.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 19, 2021 at St. Damian Catholic Church in Damiansville. Mass will be limited to 100 people and face mask are required for all in attendance.
Interment will follow at St. Damian Cemetery with full military honors accorded.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Friday, February 19, 2021 at Nordike Funeral Home in New Baden.
Memorials made in memory of Smitty are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Diabetes Association and will be received at Nordike Funeral Home, 15 East Hanover Street, New Baden, IL 62265.
Online condolences may be left for the Santel family by visiting www.nordikefuneralhome.com.