Music 01

John A. Santuccio

March 7, 1943 ~ March 3, 2020 (age 76)


John Santuccio Obituary

March 7, 1943 – March 3, 2020

DENVER - John Arthur Santuccio, 76, passed away peacefully under hospice care on March 3, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Jo (Cook), daughters Jill and Janet, and grandson Roman John, all of Denver, Colo.; sister Carol Tousant (Jim) of Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; nephew Ryan Tousant of Syracuse, N.Y. and niece Brianna (Tousant) Uhlinger (Jim) of Carthage, N.Y., as well as other extended family.

A pianist from the age of five, John and Mary Jo met in a piano practice room at their alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University and shared a passion for music throughout their lives. After earning his M.B.A. from Columbia University, he had a long career in fundraising, administration and music management at the Eastman School of Music, G. Schirmer, the New York Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, Charlotte Symphony and San Diego Chamber Orchestra. 

While at Eastman, John expanded his passion for music by producing more than 40 recordings, winning a Grammy award for Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, narrated by Eastman alumnus and renowned baritone William Warfield. On that same album was New Morning for the World, a spoken-word work of Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches set to music by Joseph Schwanter and narrated by Pittsburgh Pirate and baseball hall-of-famer Willie Stargell. The unlikely friendship between baseball legend and music devotee continued for decades.

 In addition to music, his passion for cooking and entertaining precipitated many dinner parties that ended with John playing (and singing) everything from George Gershwin and Tom Lehrer to bawdy limericks. His faithful canines, two of whom where aptly named Rimsky-Korsakov and Gershwin, usually curled up under the baby grand and endured the racket.

John also shared his passion for music through his decades of membership by playing the piano at Rotary Club meetings; he was a Paul Harris Fellow and long-time member in Rochester, Syracuse, Charlotte, Greensboro and his last club, in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Next to his Grammy award, his most cherished accolade was his honorary doctorate from Cal State San Marcos, which was conferred upon him in 2004.

In lieu of a memorial service, we encourage you to light a candle, raise a toast or remember him in your own way at 3 p.m. (Mountain Time) on Saturday, March 14, 2020, exactly one week after what would have been his 77th birthday. Donations may be made in his name to the Eastman School of Music, attn: Cathy Hain, 26 Gibbs Street, Rochester, NY, 14604; The Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Drive, Chicago, IL 60693; or Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, 455 Sherman Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80203. 

Notes of condolence may be sent to the family c/o Jill Santuccio, P.O. Box 140883, Edgewater, CO 80214. The family expresses its deepest thanks to #teamsantuccio including the amazing folks at Dignity Hospice, especially Sydnee and Teresa, as well as the staff at Lakewood Reserve, especially Jennifer and the care team.


A service summary is not available


Eastman School of Music, attn: Cathy Hain
26 Gibbs Street, Rochester NY 14604

The Rotary Foundation
14280 Collections Center Drive, Chicago IL 60693

Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado
455 Sherman Street, Suite 500, Denver CO 80203
Tel: 1-800-272-3900

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