The Cadets family mourns the loss of Richard 'Doc' Santo

Service arrangements announced for former corps director

Dr. Richard Santo, The Cadets director from 1979-82, addresses the corps. Below, Doc Santo in 1980 and as a member between 1952 and 1954.

UPDATE: The Santo family has announced that a Mass will be held for Dr. Richard 'Doc' Santo on Friday, Nov. 19 at St. Judes Catholic Church, Tequesta, Fla. The family will begin working on a Mass for their father in the New Jersey area, likely to be held early in 2011. 

Mass cards and letters can be sent to: 

        Loretta Santo
        106 Jones Creek Drive
        Jupiter, Fla., 33458

In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable donations be sent to:

The Cadets Drum Corps
601 W. Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18101-2103
Please enclose: In honor of Dr. Richard Santo
Or online via the web site,, and follow the donate links.

Life University
1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060
ATTN: Development Office
Note on your donation that it is memory of Dr. Richard Santo

Catholic Charities USA
P.O Box 17066
Baltimore, MD 21297-1066
A Memorial Form can be downloaded at


The Cadets are saddened to announce that Dr. Richard Santo, the corps director from 1979-1982, and a member of The Cadets Hall of Fame, passed away this evening in Jupiter, Fla.

Doc Santo, father of Garfield Cadet alumnus Eric Santo (1977-1982), Tim Santo (1977-1978) father-in-law to Kathy Hauer Santo (1982) and grandfather to current Cadet, Ryan Santo, was long revered for his devotion to the corps during many years of rebuilding from the late 1970s to early 1980s.

Doc Santo marched with the Garfield Cadets as Colorguard Captain from 1952-1954. After building a career in chiropractic medicine, Santo returned to the corps as assistant director under Dr. Joseph Cinzio. He assumed the directorship of the corps in 1979 bringing with him the philosophy that the members should not be concerned with winning, but only their performance and striving for their personal best.

Current Cadets Director George Hopkins was appointed assistant director of The Cadets by Doc in 1980 and as director in September 1982.

“I have always had a fond place in my heart for Doc. He allowed me, and a bunch of young kids to take on The Cadets transformation back in the early 80’s and I know he took a great deal of heat from past Cadets! After all, I never marched in the corps and at the time, that was an obstacle!” Hopkins said.

[object Object]“He put in the time, he put in his money, and he gave all of us his support. Doc was so very optimistic – his enthusiasm and positive spirit gave many of us the will to keep fighting when sometimes it appeared there was little hope. He took me on so many walks, gave me so much advice, and stopped me so many times from making the big mistake. And yet, he allowed all of us room to try new, to be new, and to stretch past where many thought was possible.”

Doc was inducted into The Cadets Hall of Fame in 1984 along with many other activity visionaries of the time. For alumni and friends of the corps, Doc’s passing comes as a shock, but his contributions to The Cadets will go on forever.

“He was only with us as director for a short time, but in that t time the corps was refocused, redirected and he helped move it forward and point it in the proper direction,” said Cadets Historian Greg Cinzio (1967-1977). “Doc bridged the corps together in a very tough time – a little bit from the ‘old school,’ from the late 70’s and early 80’s and began to turn things around. He was known for his three year plan, which actually took four! But it worked and his whole approach was philosophical – be the best you can be, and whatever happens, happens.”


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