Grace M. “Kinsey” Santumo
A Beloved Mother Who Lit Up a Room
Mrs. Grace M. “Kinsey” (nee Canestri) Santumo, 85, of Toms River, NJ, formerly of Belleville, NJ passed away on Friday, September 24, 2021. Visitation will be at the Biondi Funeral Home of Nutley, 540 Franklin Avenue on Wednesday, September 29 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Thursday, September 30 at 9:15 a.m. There will be a funeral mass celebrated at Holy Family Church, 28 Brookline Avenue, Nutley at 10:30 a.m. The interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington.
Kinsey was born in Newark, NJ and resided in Belleville for 53 years before moving to Toms River in 2017. She got her nickname when her father opened a bottle of Kinsey Whiskey to toast her birth. On the beach in Long Branch she met the love of her life, Paul Santumo. They married and lived in Belleville where they spent 56 happy years until Paul’s passing in 2013.
Kinsey was first employed by the Newark Board of Education as an executive secretary. She was later employed for 30 years as the surgical coordinator for Dr. Lester and Dr. Gordon in Belleville before retiring.
For Kinsey, life was a great celebration of love, laughter, family and food. She loved singing and dancing at weddings, holiday gatherings and family vacations. On one vacation in Miami Beach, FL she joined the live band at poolside and sang “Bye Bye Blackbird” for the crowd. She performed in a Newark Board of Education Fundraiser , singing “Going to the Mountains for a Man”. She loved the Yankees, the Giants and the Jersey Shore. She embodied warmth, kindness and generosity.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her beloved daughter Paula Santumo and daughter-in-law Kelly Flanagan. She is also survived by her nieces, nephews and cousins whom she loved and adored, and her many dear friends.
Kinsey was also predeceased by her brother Carlo Canestri.
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