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Ventura "Ben" Santana

July 14, 1921 ~ May 11, 2018 (age 96)
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     Ventura “Ben” Santana age 96 of St. Louis, MI, passed away Friday, May 11, 2018, at Schnepp Health Care Center, St. Louis, MI.

      A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Mt. St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Louis, MI, at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, with Rev. Fr. Nate Harburg officiating. Burial will take place at Chapel Garden Cemetery, Seville Township, MI. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 2:00 - 5:00 P.M. and 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes St. Louis, MI. A Rosary will be prayed at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday at the funeral home.

     Ben was born in San Marcos, TX on July 14, 1921, the son of Francisco and Margarita (Palomo) Santana. He married Catalina Gonzales on May 13, 1939 in Texas.

     Ben retired after 44 years of farming. In his younger years he liked hunting and he played baseball with the Gratiot County league. Ben was a lifetime fan of the Detroit Tigers. Ben and Catalina loved attending dances together. Spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren brought him great joy. Ben proudly served his country in the United States Army during World War II in the Philippines. He was a life member of the St. Louis VFW post 3055.  He was also a member of Mt. St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Louis, MI. 

     He survived by his children: Juanita “Jane” and William Kozitzki of St. Louis, MI, Leonor Castellon of St. Louis, MI, Phil and Chris Santana of Ithaca, MI, Maria and Rudy Martinez of St. Louis, MI, Joe Santana of Hemlock, MI, 19 grandchildren, 56 great grandchildren, 34 great-great grandchildren, sister Guadalupe Santana and brother Apolinar Santana.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Catalina, 2 sons: Ramon and Benito, grandson: David Joseph Castellon, brother: Francisco Santana, sister: Martina Maltos, sister: Petra Santana, brother: Ismael Santana, sister: Minnie Santana, sister: Juanita Santana, sister: Nieves Martinez, and sister: Paulita Santana.

     Memorials contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences can be sent to The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, Michigan.

Donations may be made to:

American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
Tel: 1-800-227-2345

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