Adeo Santori

MARGATE – Commissioner John Amodeo Thursday, Aug. 4 called for a moment of silence during the Board of Commissioners meeting to honor a longtime “friend of Margate,” Adeo Santori, who died Sunday at age 95.

The two, known as “snowflakes” would often go skiing at locations around the country and he was fun to be with, Amodeo said.

Santori, a man who had several real estate and business holdings in the area, served on the city’s Zoning Board for years and was its chairman for a time. He was also involved with Margate Little League.

“I got at least got one call a week over the last several years from Adeo telling me to make sure I tell Maury (Blumberg) and Mike (Becker) that he is so proud of us and the great job we do, and how happy he is to be part of Margate,” Amodeo said. “May he rest in peace.”

Santori even found time to call to chat about issues he felt were important, and the conversations were always lively and educational.

Here’s his obituary:

On Saturday July 30, 2022, at 6:22 a.m., 10 days after his 95th birthday, Adeo Santori of Margate departed for Heaven’s beach to stake an umbrella with chairs to save the perfect spot to spend the day with his family once they arrive. This was his favorite “job” here on Earth on busy summer weekends although it was never that early.

Born to Italian immigrants, Adam and Anna (Acitelli) Santori on July 20, 1927, on Florida Avenue in Atlantic City, Adeo not only lived a long life, but also packed a lot of life in the years he lived. During the Great Depression at age 11 he began working at his parents’ Italian-American grocery store on the corner of California and Arctic avenues in Atlantic City when not in school. In the afternoons he would tend to his delivery route of the AC Press sports section extra, letting us not forget that his best customer, Nucky Johnson, would toss him a nickel for the 2-cent paper, pocketing a 3-cent tip.

Adeo graduated Atlantic City High School in 1945. Being a fiercely proud American, he immediately enlisted in the Navy. He never got out of training camp, however, as the result of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He always respected that these two events were a double-edged sword. Adeo later enrolled at Pennsylvania Military Academy as a civilian and graduated with a business degree in 1953. Following the Academy, Adeo worked for E.I. du Pont as a foreman at their nylon factory in Seaford, Delaware. Later, he would return to Atlantic City where he began work in real estate as first an agent, then broker in Margate. While maintaining his broker’s license he purchased and operated the Pennsylvania Hotel in Atlantic City, which he ran for almost 20 years. During this time, Adeo also invested in real estate with his childhood friend and long-time business partner, Andy Patroni. For years they owned and operated the Ventnor Roller Rink, a place they had both frequented in their youth. With the legalization of casinos, he sold the hotel to Resorts International in the late 1970s.

Becoming a bit restless, in the early 1980s, Adeo would lease the Seahorse Motel in Margate, which he operated for a handful of years. In 1991, at age 64, Adeo began “working” again, this time for his third son, Andre, at the newly opened Santori’s Produce Outlet on Albany Avenue in Atlantic City; coming full circle, so to speak. His constant source of enjoyment and fulfilment had always been interacting with customers (as it was with his guests at his hotels}. He was tremendously proud to see the outlet grow to four successful Santori’s Produce and Deli Markets now operated by three of his sons. Adeo finally “retired” from active work later in the 1990s, but he was always behind the scenes offering advice and he acted as a sounding board for the business until his last few days.

Adeo was a proud long-time member of UNICO, an Italian-American service organization, as well as a long standing board member of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority to which he was appointed by the Governor of the State of New Jersey. He served for many years as a member of the Margate City Zoning Board where his input was much respected by fellow members. He also served as president of the Margate Little League (a position his sons believed would earn them starting pitcher status … it didn’t.) Adeo was famous (or, infamous) for organizing yearly July Fourth and Labor Day bashes on the Iroquois Avenue beach and the egg throwing contests that went along with them were legendary. He would remind his guests not to wear white, but they did and they paid the price.

He enjoyed making wine in his wine cellar and his kids enjoyed sampling it for him. He was happy to make phone calls to anyone he wanted – just because, and to submit anonymous Letters to the Editor, so as to not offend under his name. Adeo also enjoyed numerous ski vacations with “The Snowflakes,” a very fun club indeed; travelling yearly to Florida and Quebec, and attending Philadelphia Flyers home games as a forty plus year season ticket holder.

Frank Sinatra? Fuhgeddaboutit! He knew all the lyrics by heart.

He loved crabbing with a passion, starting as a youngster during the depression and selling them to his mother’s friends for spaghetti with crab sauce. He would later rent boats and take his young family for crabbing trips near Jeffers Landing in Mays Landing. In the 1990s, he graduated to the big time and for over 25 years would rent a home each summer on the Chesapeake near St. Michaels, Maryland. There the family would congregate and catch and eat jumbo crabs for six nights straight. Landlubbers were on their own. Of all this, what made Adeo happiest was spending time with his family, of which he was so proud.

He cherished his role as patriarch, advisor and mentor yet never forced his opinions upon others. He was wise and shrewd beyond his years, and that’s a lot. Of his family, one garnered special attention. When he met Johanne at the Aztec Hotel in Miami Beach, he was hooked, bait, line and sinker. A Quebecoise, he was attracted not only to the mystique of a French Canadian, but also to her beauty and grace. At little under 12 years his junior, she is what kept Adeo young at heart and young of body. She was truly his joie de vivre.

Adeo is predeceased by a lot of people and is survived by his wonderful yet heartbroken wife of almost 63 years, Johanne (Lawler). Together they raised four sons; Gino (Carrie), Michael, Andre (JoAnne) and John (Jenifer). He was the beloved Nonna to nine grandchildren; Ceana Camille, Dominic, Sydney, Madelyn, Luc, Devyn, Anna and Elizabeth. He is also survived by his sister, Alma Pasquale (Ernest) of Florida. Also surviving Adeo are numerous nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters-in-law from both Florida and Quebec. So proud of his heritage, he remained in constant contact with his many cousins in Italy. Ciao tutto e tutta.

He was a very happy man and he did it his way. Oh, wait! Hey Dad, remember how when we were kids you used to tell us bedtime stories about the hidden treasure that was buried on our beach by long ago pirates? Well, we just realized that all along the treasure was never hidden and was always by our side; it was you. Please continue to keep an eye on us all. We love and miss you already.

A visitation will be held 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the George H. Wimberg Funeral Home at 1707 New Road, Linwood, NJ 08221, followed by a memorial service. In lieu of flowers Adeo has requested that any contributions be made to the Atlantic County UNICO Scholarship Foundation, Inc. PO Box 41, Pleasantville, NJ 08232.

Categories: Margate

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.