Patricia Santosus, the matriarch of a local fire service family, was recently honored for 50 years of service with the Mineola Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary.
Santosus was honored by members of the department, the village Board of Trustees and her family, which is heavily involved in the fire service, in conjunction with the annual holiday party, because she “didn’t want a big party,” she said. At the dinner, Mayor Scott Strauss presented Santosus with a ceremonial key and proclamation for her service.
“Fifty years is a long time,” Ladies Auxiliary President Flore Rowe said. “It was an honor to acknowledge her and all that she’s done.”
Pat Santosus was also named the 2017 Lady of the Year at the department’s installation of officers.
Pat, whose husband, Louis Santosus, served as fire chief at one point during his 55-year and growing tenure with the department, is also the mother of current Chief Brian Santosus.
For the first time in department history, a father who had previously served was able to watch his son take that office when Strauss asked Louis Santosus to administer the oath of office to Brian Santosus.
Pat Santosus said that being a part of the legacy her family has built in the village has been an amazing honor, and that watching her son follow in his father’s footsteps was something special.
“He’s still the first one on the fire truck,” Pat said of her husband.
Pat Santosus became involved with the auxiliary when she married Lou nearly 51 years ago to support him, she said. She is still involved today, serving as the department’s treasurer. She has previously served as president and vice president.
The auxiliary’s main responsibilities are arriving and assisting on the scene at emergency calls with the rest of the department, as well as preparing meals and food for those returning from calls, Pat Santosus said.
Members of the Fire Department work hard and greatly appreciate the support the auxiliary provides, she said.
Pat Santosus said she is looking forward to continuing to serve with the auxiliary and the department.
Two others members of the auxiliary are also up for honors next year, Rowe said, for 65 years of service each.