On Monday, July 23, 2018 Fernando Michael Santaella of Ely, NV passed away peacefully while he lay safely in the loving arms of his wife.  He had fought a sudden illness bravely for three weeks in the ICU at the amazing University of Utah Hospital; alas, God determined that His plan was to bring Fernando home to Him.

Fernando was born on September 25, 1958 in Chicago, IL. He attended Loyola Academy for high school and then Loyola University in Chicago for his first undergraduate degree in Biology. He later studied Biomedical Engineering as a graduate student at Texas A&M University and attended podiatry school.  He eventually obtained a second bachelor’s degree, in Computer Science, from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.  Fernando spent many years as an IT Manager and Regional Director for Kraft Foods, then worked for Nestle Purina PetCare Company for five years as an IT Manager.

Most recently he served as IT Superintendent for Robinson Nevada Mining Company in Ely, NV.

Fernando was beloved by so many; his quiet strength, his wry sense of humor, and most of all his gentle and tender disposition were appreciated by family and friends around the world.

Fernando’s absolute and pure love will be missed dearly by his wife Alexandra, who is his best friend, soul mate, dearest love, and partner in many adventures and shenanigans.

Fernando is also survived by his four precious children, all of whom inherited from him a love of sports and sour candy, along with a penchant for goofiness.  Fernando’s beloved children are Samantha (Jesse) Gort, of Montevideo, MN; Robert (Allison) Santaella, of New Ulm, MN; Thomas (Sylvia) Santaella, currently stationed in South Korea; and his princess Gabrielle Santaella, of Montevideo, MN.

Fernando is survived by grandchildren Albie, Alivia, Hudson, and Archer, who will all grow up hearing legendary (and humorous) stories about their grandpa.

Fernando is the beloved son of Dr. Fernando and Lorraine Santaella, of Hoffman Estates, IL. Fernando will be missed by his sisters, all of whom held their big brother in high esteem: Lorrie (Dr. James) Pastika, of Hoffman Estates, IL; Lynda (Mike) Wiscons, of St. Charles, IL; and Lisa (Todd) Lamere, of Elgin, IL.

Finally, Fernando was a wonderful uncle to Joey, Danny, Jenny, Angela, Natalie, Isabella, Juliana, Dominic, and Lindsay and was loved by a large extended family including many first and second cousins along with a myriad of aunts and uncles.  Welcoming sweet Fernando into Heaven with a raucous party are his first cousin Fernando Miro and his grandparents, along with other relatives and loved ones.

Fernando’s wife would like to thank the talented and compassionate staff in the M-ICU at the University of Utah Hospital; they worked tirelessly to treat and support him and maintained his dignity his entire hospitalization.

Thanks are also warranted for Fernando’s friends and co-workers at the RNMC, who looked after the little details that enabled Alex to focus all her attention on caring for and seeking treatments for her beloved husband.

Finally, the focused prayers of hundreds of friends, family, and acquaintances bought us the blessing of having time for him to fight and be able to say goodbye to his wife and children before God decreed that Fernando’s eternal life will continue in Heaven. Goodbye, precious Fernando; we will be reunited again someday.

Details for a memorial service to take place late next week (the week of July 30) in Inverness, IL will be forthcoming and provided by the family in the coming days.