Obituary: Norman Karafa Santa, 82, of Shelton; Funeral is Saturday

Norman Karafa Santa, age 82, devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, and peacemaker, was called to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

Born in Bridgeport on May 24th, 1932, he was the son of the late Stephen John and Madelyn Farley Santa, of Stratford.

In addition to Janet Mary Nicolson Santa, his beloved wife of sixty years, Norm will be remembered by his four children, Thomas Santa, and his wife MaryLynn of Redding , Elizabeth Santa, and her husband, Timothy O’Connor, of Bridgeport, John Farley Santa, of Bridgeport, and Michael Hillgen-Santa, and his wife, Elizabeth, of Stratford; eight children he would consider grand; his three brothers, S. George Santa, and his wife, Barbara, of Shelton, Donald Santa, and his wife, Jane, of Stratford, and John Santa, and his wife, Irene, of Southport, his sister Stephane De Forest, and her husband, Bert, of Southbury; Many nieces and nephews.

He was also predeceased by his uncle, George Farley.

A graduate of Stratford High School class of 1950, Norman proudly served his country as a United States Marine during the Korean War. His experience there defined his life as a no-nonsense guy dedicated to his family, his community and his country.

He devoted his life to making the world a better place. His first loyalty was to his family and the family business founded by his parents, Santa Fuel, Inc, where he served as the Vice President responsible for the mechanical services division of the company until his retirement. Though few witnessed, it was rumored he began his career driving an oil truck at the age of thirteen.

In his spare time, and then some, Norm gave to the Shelton community, where he and Janet have lived for the past 59 years. He served his city in numerous capacities including President of the Board of Alderman, Inland-Wetlands Commissioner, member of the Charter Revision Committee as well as Vice President of the Shelton Economic Development Commission. In addition to his service to the city, he held leadership positions in many organizations including Housatonic Council of The Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley, Huntington-Shelton Exchange Club, H. B. Brownson Country Club, Hewett Foundation, United Methodist Homes, Griffin Hospital, Valley United Way, and was a Commander of the Marine Corps League, as well as Treasurer of the Navy League.

He had numerous hobbies and interests, including photography, skiing, sailing, home building and model shipbuilding to name a few. Naturally mechanically inclined and a great tool enthusiast, Norm passed that knowledge to anyone who showed interest.

Norman was remarkable in his generosity. He dedicated his life to bringing people together. He had a unique ability and willingness to see all sides of a disagreement. He possessed the wisdom to find the middle ground, and took the time, often over lunch, to help individuals settle their differences. He was always watching for those who needed assistance, and delivered exceptional mentoring as was evident when sharing timely, straightforward advice. Norm felt blessed by having so many good and caring family and friends throughout his life.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, October 24th from 4-8 PM in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home,1209 Post Road, in Fairfield Center. His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, October 25th at 11:30 AM in Saint Lawrence Church, 505 Shelton Avenue, Huntington, with Father Michael Jones officiating. At the conclusion of the Mass, full military honor will be observed. His interment will be private.

The family would prefer memorial contributions to either: The Norman K. and Janet N. Santa Fund at the Valley Community Foundation at or The Boys and Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley.

For travel directions, or to sign his guest register, please visit