In Memorium: Dr. Santo Buccheri
Santo Buccheri, MD, 60, of Wethersfield, CT, passed away on June 27, 2020 at St. Francis Hospital surrounded by his loving family. His untimely death came after a courageous battle with COVID and its complications.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, on December 20, 1959 to Sebastiano and Rosa (Ierna) Buccheri, he immigrated to Hartford, CT in 1970. A graduate of South Catholic High School, he was an All-State Tenor who also performed in the Drama Club to familial acclaim. After graduating from Fairfield University and The University of Hartford with degrees in chemistry and biology, respectively, he attended Eastern Virginia Medical School and graduated in 1985 with his Doctor of Medicine degree.
Having practiced medicine for over 35 years, Santo actively contributed to the Greater Hartford medical community and held his fellow doctors and nurses in high regard. During the course of his residency, he met his lovely wife, Louise (Neptin), and married in 1989. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at St. Francis hospital in 1988, he established a private practice in Hartford’s South End (Little Italy); was one of the founders of Prime Healthcare (a preeminent integrated healthcare system in the greater Hartford area); and served as the Medical Director for a number of nursing homes, most recently at Salmon Brook, Bloomfield Healthcare, and Maple View Manor. An enthusiastic supporter of technology in medicine, Santo founded a medical technology company with one of his best friends, Sam Merkouriou, and helped spread the use of electronic medical records across medical offices in the 1990s.
His life was marked by an array of hobbies that intersected with his friends and family. An avid fan of aviation since childhood, Santo loved flying radio-controlled model airplanes and attended thunderous vintage airplane shows – he even flew in two of them – with his friend Seby Bordieri. He reveled in good times like at the midnight premieres of Star Wars films or at Seby Bordieri’s annual 4th of July celebration. He regularly attended swap meets with his friends Peter, Anthony, and Peter Jr. Aniello on quests for treasures. He loved black tea and stashed Cadbury chocolate bars anywhere he could hide them. He drew great pleasure in collecting and restoring vintage Mustangs and riding motorcycles. Often, he enjoyed cruise nights during the summer with his family in one of his roadworthy Mustangs.
As a father, Santo was the model of timeless dedication to his family: he was a regular at his daughter’s dance recitals, pageants, and professional productions as an actor; played board games with his children, including the short-lived Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, and the, at times, regrettably long game of Risk; chaperoned overnight camping trips with the boy scouts; fixed computers as projects; embraced the magic of yearly family trips to Disney World; and saw so many wrestling and judo matches that he probably picked up a few moves himself. Ever interested in his family’s provenance, he passionately built a family tree that connected generations of the Buccheri family across the U.S., Argentina, Italy, Austria, and Australia.
His beloved German Shepherds, Gunnar and Tanner (known as “the Boys”), roused in him a contagious smile and chuckle. Appropriately, Santo brought the Boys to work to serve as a welcoming committee and therapy duo for his patients. Easily influenced by them, Santo cradled the Boys during thunderstorms, and gave them a bounty of handouts at the dinner table (the Boys especially loved him for this).
A comprehensive reflection on Santo’s kind acts to friends is constrained by the limits of this text, but it is with a brief pause that all those reading can reflect on the gentle marks that Santo left on each one’s lives…
Santo was incredibly compassionate, sensitive, and loving to all who knew him. He never gave it a second thought when someone needed help at any hour, and never asked for anything in return. He guided countless patients and their families through health, healing, and unimaginable grief, and our only wish is that he could be here to guide us through this grief too.
Santo is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 31 years, Louise and his three children, Sebastiano, Andreanna Rosa and Cristofolo Santo. He is also survived by his parents, Sebastiano and Rosa Buccheri, a sister, Carmela Carpentieri and her husband Bill, brother-in-law Phil Neptin and his wife AnnMarie, sister-in-law Marianne Neptin, sister-in-law Rosemary (D’Amato) Neptin, sister-in-law Deborah Grahn and her husband Mark, and sister-in-law Catherine Neptin and her husband Bill Touhy. Santo was predeceased by his father-in-law Philip M. Neptin, brother-in-law Bill Neptin, and sister-in-law Clara Brown. He also leaves behind his aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grand-nephew, grand-nieces and many cousins and friends here in the U.S. and globally.
The Family of Dr. Santo Buccheri would like to express their heartfelt gratitude for the care provided by the nurses and medical and surgical staff at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Santo’s memory to Holy Trinity Church, 53 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT 06106, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, 103 Vision Way, Bloomfield, CT 06002, or FoodShare, 450 Woodland Ave., Bloomfield, CT 06002.
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