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Passing of Former City Council President Gladys Santiago

In the Community: City of Rochester News Release  

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Former City Council President Gladys Santiago passed away, August 4, 2022 at the age of 75.

She is predeceased by her fathers, Dioniso Matos, and Pedro Ruiz; mother, Flora Ruiz.

She is survived by her daughter, Vivian Santiago; son, Jaime (Susan) Santiago Jr.; grandson, Joseph Cruz; granddaughter and caretaker, Ryan Cruz; grandsons, Jaime Santiago III, Alexander J. Santiago, Benjamin Vasquez, Jeremy Powell, Isiah Powell; great grandson, Joseph Antonio Cruz, Jr.; great granddaughter, Lola Joli Cruz; and many loved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Santiago was a strong advocate not only for the community and the City of Rochester, but for every soul within her sphere of influence. 

Her ability to represent and be the voice to every man, woman and child that crossed her path was her strongest and most courageous trait. A trailblazer and a force to be reckoned with on behalf of the community. 

She began her service for the community at the Anthony Jordan Health Center, later moving to the Ibero-American Action League where she served for 23 years as Vice President. During that time, she also went on to serve the community on The City Council for over a decade advocating for the community, retiring as the President of the City Council in 2009. After retiring from the City Council, she also served briefly at Rural/Metro, in an advisory role. 

Gladys will be dearly missed by her family and all those who loved her and whom she touched. Her influence will continue to live on.

Family will receive friends, Wednesday, August 10th from 11AM-1PM and 4PM-7PM at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 6 Empire Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14609 and on Thursday, August 11th from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church. A funeral mass will immediately follow at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church, 859 N. Clinton Avenue, Rochester, NY 14605.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Ibero Hispanic Scholarship Fund, 585-256-8900 x.631 and Wounded Warrior Project at in Gladys’ memory.

Statement by Mayor Malik D. Evans on the Passing of Former City Council President Gladys Santiago 

“I was especially saddened to learn of the passing of Gladys Santiago. We forever share the bond of both having served as Presidents of our respective bodies at the same time. While serving as School Board President, I worked with Gladys on many issues, including on working on improving the relationship between the City and the school district and getting the first phase of the Facilities Modernization Project off the ground. Gladys always gave me words of encouragement and was an early supporter of my entry into public service. Gladys was the epitome of what a City Councilmember should be, rising to become Council President in 2008. She cared deeply about people and the neighborhoods they lived in, and dedicated her career to lifting people out of poverty and addressing crime and substance abuse. She will be remembered forever for her relentless advocacy for Rochester’s Latino community. I am glad that she got to see her 40-year quest to see La Marketa become a reality. I send my condolences to her family and pray for their comfort in the coming days.”