Norma De SantoDe SANTO

Norma De Santo, 97, of Chicago and Des Plaines, died at home on May 13, 2023, after a short illness. Loving wife of the late Mario. Beloved mother of Carla (Adam Stern) De Santo, Elizabeth (Timothy Robinson) De Santo, David (Linda) De Santo, Laura (Steven) Wagner, and Michael De Santo. Proud grandmother of the late Patricia Sullivan, Nicholas (Blaire Knight-Graves) Robinson, Julianna Robinson, and Maximilian Wagner. Dear sister of Bernice (the late Gene) Pozzie, Mary Lou Cividino, and the late Linda (Dominic) De May. Devoted sister-in-law to the late Mary De Santo and the late Agnes De Santo. Fond aunt to many nieces and nephews.

Norma was born in Italy to Guglielmo and Gina Cividino. She came with her mother to the US in 1927 at the age of 20 months to live with her father who was already in Chicago. Norma and Mario, both children of Italian immigrants, began their married life in a garage that Mario had converted to an apartment on his own, behind the house of friends. They were married for 7 years before their first child came along, and they adored each other throughout their 66 years of marriage.

Norma was a devoted wife and mother who always put her children first. She inspired great loyalty and understanding in them. While she sometimes held outside jobs, her greatest accomplishment was making a safe, affectionate, cheerful home for her family, where good conversation and a great meal were always waiting. She was patient but uncompromising, glad to teach but exacting in her inspection of the learner’s work.

Norma loved to travel—to Europe, to Mexico, and around the US—with Mario, her sisters, and her children. Her hand-sewn clothes, from evening dresses to children’s costumes, were legendary. She appreciated a good party and spent many Saturday evenings with Mario at their favorite restaurants, always drinking a gin martini, straight up, with a twist, before dinner. And she enjoyed reading and doing crossword puzzles. But she was happiest in the kitchen, cooking meals from the homey to the exotic, and nurturing a love of cooking in all five of her children.

Norma will be deeply missed and forever cherished in our hearts.

A memorial visitation will be held, Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the MJ Suerth Funeral Home, 6754 N. Northwest Hwy, Chicago, IL,  from 11:00 AM until the time of memorial service at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to your local public library are appreciated.