Santa Sanzero
Santa Sanzero

Obituary of Santa Sanzero


Santa Sanzero passed away peacefully on Friday, May 1, 2020 at Inglemoor Rehabilitation & Care Center in Livingston. She had shared 95 years of unconditional love, laughter, and memories with family and friends.


Born and raised in Naples, Italy to the late Carlo and Lucia (Murano) Aletta, she was the oldest of five children to bless the Aletta household. A natural born caregiver, Santa served during World War II as a Secretary for the Allied forces. It was divine intervention that she met her soulmate and true love while working selflessly during the War. In 1944, Nicholas and Santa wed and the rest is history. Together they raised their daughters in Scranton, PA and Lodi, NJ. She was an amazing mother and doting grandmother. Family was her greatest accomplishment. She had a passion for feeding her family homecooked meals and passed that knowledge on to her daughters. Santa brought joy to others by telling stories and making them laugh. Some of her favorite stories were about her life in Italy and her experiences living in two different cultures, and everyone loved to hear them! Her memory had no limits. She would regularly call or write to lifelong friends, and never forgot a birthday. She enjoyed old classic movies and could identify every actor in them. If you had the privilege of having Santa in your life, you are a better person because of it. Our mother, grandmother, matriarch, and Nonna will always live on in our hearts. Although we are saddened by her passing, we take comfort in knowing she is now reunited with her beloved husband, Nicholas, her parents, and her siblings, Maria, Nicola, and Ida.


Santa leaves only joyful memories to her loving daughters, Lucille (the late Donald) Eller of Montclair and Anna Marie (Peter) Van Eck of Rockaway Township; her cherished grandchildren, Michele (Michael) Kvintus, Steven (Judith) Valerio, Grant (Caitlin) Van Eck, Eric Van Eck, and Peter Nicholas Van Eck; her treasured great-grandchildren, Megan and Abigail Stoner, Alexandra and Sofia Valerio, Felicity Van Eck; and step-great-grandchildren, Tawny and Shea Kvintus, and Josiah and Esther Topping; her caring sister, Lidia (Enzo) Valese of Naples, Italy; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at a later date. Santa will be buried alongside her beloved husband privately in Locust Hill Cemetery in Dover. Memorial Donations are being accepted in her memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on her personal memorial webpage: Please leave a condolence, light a candle, and share your favorite memory of Santa here to continue to celebrate the beautiful life she shared with us.