Nello Elio Paul Santacroce, born January 31, 1927, to John and Agatha Santacroce in Abruzzo, Italy, passed to our Lord on June 20, 2015, with Pamela, his wife of 32 years, and Juan Silva, trusted friend and employee, at his bedside.
In 1934, Nello, his mother and four siblings immigrated to America. Nello’s father, John, and eldest brother, Mario, immigrated ahead of Mussolini’s grip on Italy and were waiting in the depression of 1934 to welcome the rest of the family. Nello graduated from high school, received his citizenship and was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 12, 1945. He was sent to Italy and served in Naples at a POW camp and salvage company.
Nello graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1951 and married Jean Noies. They moved to California; his siblings and his parents joining him later.
Nello’s entrepreneurial skills flourished in California. He sold appliances, owned appliance distributors and then transitioned to construction and land development as "The Santacroce Brothers". The fun of the challenge, "the deal", was what caused Nello to develop properties in Palm Springs, Sacramento, Grass Valley, Concord, Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley and finally throughout Santa Cruz County.
Nello was truly an entrepreneur in Santa Cruz where he owned and operated Coastal Nursery, Stateco Insurance, and a jewelry business. He also developed, owned and operated a mini storage company in Gilroy.
Nello was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean; siblings, Mario, Fred, Elsa, Irma and Victoria; parents, John and Agatha. He is survived by his daughters, Dea Santacroce and Jan Santacroce and wife, Pam. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and a large extended family.