Harriet L. Santefort

    March 5, 1928  -  October 21, 2012


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Life Legacy


Harriet Louise (De Young) Santefort passed away Sunday, October 21, 2012 at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois. At 84 years old and in good health, she suffered a massive stroke at her home on Monday, October 15. She had played the organ at the Sunday morning church service the day before. Mrs. Santefort was born to Harry H. and Louise De Young at Ingalls Memorial Hospital on March 5, 1928. She was married for 57 years to Lester John Santefort who died in 2007. Harriet had a deep devotion to her God and Church. She was a lifelong member of the First Reformed Church of South Holland, Illinois where she served as church organist since 1965. She attended Franklin School in Dolton, Thornton Township High School in Thornton, Illinois where she was the pianist for the high school orchestra. She graduated from Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College in Chicago with a degree in early childhood education. She worked as a first grade teacher in the Hammond, Indiana school system at the Harding School from 1949-1953 before becoming a mother to her daughters, Gwen Louise and Jane Mary. Harriet had a passionate devotion to her family, balancing her church work and home life, supporting Lester in his business and her girls with their schooling, music lessons, performances, and athletics. She loved to entertain - hosting everything from parties for large groups of teens, to open houses, picnics, thank-you brunches, teas, luncheons and holiday dinners – and did so always with grace, style, and a sense of fun. Mrs. Santefort is survived by her daughters Gwen (Kerry) Durkin of Glenwood, Illinois and Jane (Marvin) Martin of Holland, Michigan; grandchildren Keith (Aubrey) Durkin of Thornton, Illinois, Jeffrey John Durkin of Missoula, Montana, Maureen Durkin of Glenwood, Corinne Martin, and Harrison (Casandra) Martin of Holland, Michigan, as well as her sister-in-law Ruth Jansma and her brother, Howard De Young. Harriet was a loving aunt to nine nieces and nephews, stepping up as a surrogate mother and steadfast support to six of them and their spouses, children and grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by her family, church and community. Visitation will be at Smits, DeYoung-Vroegh Funeral Home, 649 E. 162nd St. (Rt. 6 /159th St.), South Holland, Illinois on Thursday, October 25 from 2-9 pm. Burial will take place Friday, October 26 at 9:30am. at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Lansing, Illinois followed by a funeral service at 11:00am at the First Reformed Church, 15924 South Park Avenue, South Holland, Illinois with Rev. Matt Waterstone officiating. For further info, please call 708-333-7000 or visit our online obituary and guest book at www.SMITSFH.com



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Born: March 5, 1928

Death: October 21, 2012


Memorial donations may be made to:
First Reformed Church of South Holland

This memorial provided by:
Smits Funeral Homes Ltd.
South Holland, IL