Eugene Conlon Santos, of Charleston, passed away at his home on Friday, October 23, 2020. Eugene was 91 years old, born in Charleston, SC on August 9, 1929, the same year that the Cooper River bridge was completed. His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at Nativity Catholic Church, 1061 Folly Road, Charleston. The Rite of Committal will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday evening between 5:30 & 7:30 PM at the James A. McAlister Funeral Home, 1620 Savannah Highway, Charleston. The Rosary will be recited at 7:00 PM. Online Condolences may be offered at www.CharlestonFunerals.com. A precocious, bright and energetic young boy, Gene entered Belmont Abbey Preparatory School in Belmont, NC at 14. He remained there until he graduated from Belmont Abbey Junior College in 1949. He enlisted in the Navy at 21. After an honorable discharge in September of 1954, he enrolled in The Citadel Military College of SC and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in August of 1958. In 1959, Gene married Yvonne Keating Santos, a beautiful young Charlestonian. They headed west on their honeymoon to begin Gene’s new job as a field engineer with RCA Corporation, where Gene reported to Vandenberg Air Force Base to work in the Atlas Missile Program. They traveled from California to Cheyenne, Wyoming, then to Omaha, Nebraska and back to California, then on to Tucson, Arizona. Gene accepted a position at the Charleston Naval Shipyard and they returned to Charleston with 2 babies in tow: Gene and Tricia. They would have 3 more children: Danny, Shavon, and Christopher. Gene remained at his position with the Charleston Naval Shipyard for 26 years and retired at the age of 60 in March of 1989. As is often the case, retirement prompts reflection. Gene began to feel the need to revisit Belmont Abbey and express the love and gratitude that he felt for the monks there, especially Abbott Walter. He began to volunteer with alumni events, spent countless hours on the phone, donated money, and even bought a van dubbed the “Abbotmobile” for Abbott Walter to stand in and throw candy to the kids in the stands during Homecoming games. For these efforts, he was awarded the Brother Gregory Corcoran Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award for 1997. Retirement also prompted a fierce competitive love of tennis for both him and Yvonne, and they became an integral part of Maybank Tennis Center on James Island. He was a notable adversary on the courts and became known for a tennis move that we cannot speak of in polite circles. His love for the group of tennis players at Maybank was long lasting and a great source of pleasure in his life. Gene lived a life of accomplishment and charity. He was a loving and supportive companion to his wife of 61 years and was deeply grateful for her constant devotion during the last years of his life. He was a vigilant and loving father to his 5 children and 5 grandchildren. He will be remembered for his quick wit, humor, and generosity and will be sorely missed. Gene is predeceased by his 4 siblings: Billy Santos, Ann Henry, Mary Blanchard, and Jack Santos, and his daughter, Shavon Rose. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, 4 children: Gene, Patricia (Chuck), Dan, Christopher and 5 grandchildren: Christopher, Summer, Luke, Jared, and Isabel. Arrangements by James A. McAlister, (843) 766-1365.
Posted in: Post and Courier
Posted on: 2020-10-28
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=eugene-conlon-santos&pid=196994911&fhid=3701