Richard C. Santanella, Jr. (SFA) (CLAS)

Richard (Rich) C. Santanella, Jr., 40 years young, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Bristol, CT on October 22, 2021.

Rich was born on March 11, 1981 in Rockville, CT. He is survived by his loving wife Heather (Amundson) Santanella and their two children, daughter Hailey (9), and son Owen (6). His father Richard C. Santanella and his wife Colleen of Enfield, his Mother, Lynn (Batchelder) Santanella and Rick Daigle of East Windsor. He also leaves behind a brother, Peter J. Santanella and his wife Amy Santanella of Enfield, in-laws Tamara and Craig Amundson of Greenwich, as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Rich grew up in Enfield and graduated from Enfield High School in 1999. He held a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from the University of Connecticut. He also had completed coursework for the Master of Science degree in music education from Central Connecticut State University. He was a member of the UConn Marching Band and served as its Drum Major in 2003. He was also a member of Kappa Psi, National Honorary Co-ed Band Fraternity, where his Big Brother turned out to be the love of his life and future wife.

Rich was the Director of Bands at Joseph A. DePaolo Middle School in Southington, CT where he inspired students to cultivate a love for music. Rich also served as director of the Center Stage Jazz Band, a subgroup of the Plainville Wind Ensemble. As principal saxophonist of the PWE, Rich has been featured as a soloist in past concerts.

Rich was an extremely devoted husband and father. His wife and kids were his world. In his spare time he enjoyed cycling, skiing, swimming, and surrounding himself with friends, family, and music.