Barbara C. Santiago, 67, Legal Aid office manager

May 12, 2006

Barbara Cecelia Santiago, a Bel Air office manager, died of a stroke Monday at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Churchville resident was 67.

Born Barbara Cecelia DePalma in Bethpage on Long Island, N.Y., and raised in Albany, she married Paul John Santiago Sr. in 1959. They moved to Maryland in 1965, when he became a professor of chemistry at Harford Community College. In 1980, she earned her associate's degree there.

Mrs. Santiago had worked for the past decade at the Northeastern Office of the Legal Aid Bureau in Bel Air.

"She was the heart of the office," said Dorcey Berndt, its chief attorney. "She kept it running smoothly so the attorneys and paralegals could get their work done."

Mrs. Santiago remembered her fellow workers with birthday cards and visited them when they were sick. "She was just such a kind person," Ms. Berndt said.

Mrs. Santiago enjoyed gardening, knitting and embroidery. She also fed wild birds and squirrels, and had a dog and several cats.

Services will be held at 7 p.m. today at Schimunek Funeral Home, 610 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air.

In addition to her husband, survivors include two sons, Brian Santiago of Fallston and Paul John Santiago Jr. of Belcamp; a daughter, Dr. Christine Santiago-Gormley of Bethlehem, Pa.; a brother, Thomas DePalma of Central Bridge, N.Y.; a sister, Nancy DePalma of Selden, N.Y.; and four grandchildren.

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