The Montclair State University community is mourning the loss of building maintenance worker Domingo Santiago, who died from a heart attack on June 12.
Santiago was 61-years-old and resided in Paterson, New Jersey. He began working at Montclair State in 2006 as a member of the Housekeeping Academic Services team. His most recent assignment was the morning shift on the third floor of University Hall.
Elizabeth Erwin, a professor from the department of teaching and learning, met Santiago while he was working in University Hall.
“I was on campus mostly in the afternoons and evenings for class. I did not see [Santiago] often but, I was so glad when our paths did cross in University Hall,” Erwin said. “He was a very hard worker and always stopped what he was doing to say hello and to talk. His smile was bright. I always knew that if [Santiago] was taking care of things, all was well.”
Zena Mootoosammy, a coworker of Santiago, said he was hardworking and always willing to help.
“Domingo was a dedicated and respectful employee,” Mootoosammy said. “He was a good floor technician. He was cooperative and friendly and very polite to all customers, supervisors and coworkers.”
Mootoosammy added that Santiago will be missed and she was honored to work with him.
“He was a great asset to the university,” Mootoosammy said. “It was a privilege to work with him and to have him on my team. He will be missed by many.”
Students will also miss Santiago and were shocked to hear of his death.
Carmen Grandovic, a senior history major, says that Santiago’s death is especially saddening on top of all the lives lost from the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s so sad there has been so much death in the past few months, this hits close to home for me,” Grandovic said. “My thoughts and prayers are of course with his family and the school.”
Campbell Donovan, a sophomore sports media major, wants to keep Santiago’s memory alive in the Montclair State community.
“May we all keep [Santiago’s] memory within us in the Red Hawk Community,” Donovan said. “I send my thoughts and prayers and offer my condolences to the family of [Santiago].”