Obituary of Onorino Santilli
Onorino “Tony” Santilli, 102, passed away on Nov. 20. 2020. Born in Pratola Peligna, Italy on December 12, 1917, Onorino came to the US at the age of 12. The family moved to Orange City in 1932. After his father’s early death, Onorino had to take charge of the family. He worked many different jobs – on farms, in grocery stores and surveying. The family moved to DeLand in 1937. Onorino and his older brother, Liberato, began the grocery business by going door-to-door. Then, they opened DeLand Produce Market – later known as Santilli Bros. - in 1942. Onorino continued to operate the business with his younger brother, Venzy until his retirement in 1980.
After retirement, Onorino worked for many years as a handyman. He enjoyed gardening and shared the vegetables with friends and neighbors. Onorino lived life to the fullest and, as so many have said to us, he was such fun to be around – always upbeat with a story to tell, with a big smile and twinkling eyes.
Onorino was a member of St Peter Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Council #6274, and also attended St Ann Catholic Church in DeBary. The funeral Mass was held at St Ann and entombment was at DeLand Memorial Gardens.
He was married in 1950 to his beloved wife Giuseppina (“Josie”) who preceded him to eternal rest after 35 years of marriage. Onorino’s two brothers, Liberato and Venzy also preceded him to eternal rest. He is survived by his daughters, Anna and Maria (DeLand), son Don (Kristina) (Sequim, WA), niece Anna Felicia (Indianapolis, IN), and nephew J. Anthony “Tony” (DeLand). We were blessed to have him in our lives.
In lieu of flowers, and in honor of his over 40 years at DeLand Produce Market, please donate to your church food pantry or to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Volusia Branch, 320 North St., Daytona Beach, FL 32114.