Cover photo for Dr. Antonio Santillano's Obituary
Dr. Antonio Santillano Profile Photo
1932 Dr. 2022

Dr. Antonio Santillano

September 13, 1932 — August 2, 2022

A memorial service for Dr. Antonio Santillano will be held at a later date.

Antonio Borromeo Santillano, 89, of Meridian, Mississippi, passed away peacefully on August 2, 2022, surrounded by family. He was born to parents Pomposo R. and Restituta B. Santillano on September 13, 1932, in Leyte, Philippines. He received his medical degree from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He was preceded in death by daughter, Lynn S. Tutko. He is survived by wife, BJ and sons Lee, Keith, and Mark (Solveig) Santillano.

Tony came from humble beginnings in Tacloban City, Leyte Philippines. As a 12-year-old he witnessed the American ships during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He lived within miles of MacArthur’s Landing in 1944 during the liberation of the Philippines. Since he was one of the few kids who spoke English well , he was able to befriend American soldiers. They would share food with him to bring home to his family. This was the root of his love for America and his passion for WWII history.

After graduating medical school, he secured an internship at a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. While there, he met BJ, who was a nurse at the same hospital. They fell in love and have been side by side ever since. They married on February 25, 1959, and shared a loving 63 years together. They had 4 children: Lynn, Lee, Keith, and Mark. Together they made St. Louis their home for more than 40 years. Additionally, he had 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

After a residency at the Albert Einstein University, in New York, and another in Leyte, Philippines, Tony moved back to St. Louis, where he practiced as a pathologist and was a partner in Allen Medical Laboratories. He also had medical licenses in a handful of States and was known as “Dr. Tony” by his colleagues. After retiring from full time work, he still maintained his medical licenses and would accept temporary assignments in hospitals located near family and friends. He did this so that he could visit his family when his work was finished.

Tony was the Patriarch of the Santillano family. He was the eldest of 12 children. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He was known for his kind, and generous heart. Tony wanted to give his family the same opportunity that his parents had given him, to achieve the American Dream. So, he helped family and friends who wanted or needed it.

After becoming a naturalized American citizen, in 1967, he maintained a strong connection to his roots and never forgot the Filipino culture. He became a true American who loved his St. Louis Cardinal baseball but was the most loyal St. Louis Blues hockey fan for over 52 years. He was thrilled to witness his team finally win the Stanley Cup Championship in 2019. Let’s Go Blues!! Tony also loved Snoopy. You would often see him wear a snoopy shirt or a Blues hat, and sometimes both together.

Tony loved being a father and traveled all over the globe to share in each of his kids’ passions. He also loved being a grandfather to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Family meant the world to him, and he always made everyone feel important and special. Whether it was a phone call, a letter, or a visit he showed his love through his attention.

He had a passion for family, travel, and adventure. His travels always focused on family and friends. Tony and BJ traveled the globe together. He was a passionate scuba diver, logging more than 500 dives worldwide. He also loved to fly small planes and very nearly became a licensed pilot. And, as an avid photographer, with thousands and thousands of pictures accompanying his many adventures, you rarely saw him without a camera strapped to his arm.

His “dash” was filled with LOVE, adventure, loyalty, and integrity. He was a gentle, kind, intelligent and generous man. A true patriarch who led by example and was the symbol of the Santillano family. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

Family and friends may sign the online register at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Antonio Santillano, please visit our flower store.


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