BURLINGTON – Change is inevitable; it is a constant, a “sure thing”. We can try to ignore it, outrun it, or force its hand, but have no doubt: Change is but a moment away. We are given opportunities to steer its course, or if we wish, sit back and let chance decide the destination our lives will take. Such is the gift of Free Will. There is a caveat attached to this freedom, however, and it is one we must never forget or take lightly: We are given but One Life on this earth, and tomorrow is never promised. If there is only one message the short life of Joseph Santiago leaves in the minds of those lucky enough to have met him, it is this: You are loved. You are needed. You matter. Take the Wheel.
Joe is survived by his parents, Colleen (Mann) Bolton of Burlington, and Joseph (Christine) Santiago, Sr. of Norwich. No parent should ever have to suffer the heartbreak of losing a child. But sometimes even the strongest of shoulders aren’t enough to carry the weight of their children’s choices, even though loving arms were always flung open wide. Joseph leaves behind three beautiful children, Aalyiah, Layne and Liam Santiago, all of whom will always be reminded of the gift that was their father, who loved them so.
His Aunt and Godmother, Cathleen Mann of Burlington was a confidant and great admirer no matter his shenanigans, and his Uncle, Mitchell (Teresa) Mann of Burlington, wishes only that our Joe take with him the love and leave with us the many memories that will never be forgotten. Joseph was lucky enough to have 6 siblings, Caleb & Amanda Bolton, Christoper (Sarah) Santiago of Norwich, Cody (Natalie) Santiago of Colorado, Crystal Mumbulo of Norwich and Alex (Luli) Burditt of Texas. His wonderful Grandmother, Cathy Peterson of Jacksonville, FL and Aunts Pam & Michelle, held our Joey’s hand as he took his last breath. Our connections to each other via our Boy throughout this experience has brought us all back together again, and together we will stay..
Joseph has been met in heaven by his grandparents, David & Roberta Mann of Burlington (his grandma gonna give him a spankin’), Joseph Santiago (the original), his brother Mike Mumbulo, and his Uncle and Mentor, David Mann, Jr. He is missed by his closest friends Nate Tippet, Mykel Barton, Hank Schmidt, Darin Crawford and too many other friends to name here. You all have our deepest sympathies at the loss of your friend Joseph. And if for some reason you are one he wronged, no matter how you left him, you met him first by his smile.
Our greatest thanks to Bassett Hospital and the exceptional, kind and supportive care given at Albany Medical. Calling hours were Saturday, April 30th at Delker & Terry Funeral Home in Edmeston. David Delker has taken Joseph into his special care, and we could not be more grateful to him for his repeated, kind & loving treatment of our family. Beauty can be found in every tragedy, and we have smiled as much as cried this week.
No matter how you knew him, he left us with one thing in common. We’ve all been Joe’d!