BRADENTON, Fla. — Damaso Lainé Santa Maria passed away on Jan. 3, 2023, a week after his 95th birthday. After losing his wife in 2020, he spent the final years of his life living in Bradenton, Fla. — the last year at Freedom Village Assisted Living facility, where he enjoyed playing bingo, flirting with the staff and occasionally going to the beach, ever hopeful of seeing a manatee.

Lainé would tell you he was born in Wawa, Penn., though his birth certificate says Media. Getting a bottle of milk from the Wawa dairy and drinking the cream off the top was one of Lainé’s favorite childhood activities.

He was the son of the late Alberto H. Santa Maria and Marjorie Willcox Santa Maria. He attended Archmere Academy in Wilmington, Del., and after graduating, enlisted in the Army where he served as a paratrooper. After he was discharged, Lainé attended college, getting a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from Temple University and an Ed.D at the University of Oregon. Lainé, the quintessential absent-minded professor, taught kinesiology at the University of Maryland, College Park, for over 30 years, where he mentored numerous students through their doctoral dissertations.  After he retired, he and his late wife, Sue Santa Maria, split their time between Owls Head, Maine and Bluffton, S.C. (but not with the ratio he would have preferred). Both of his homes had a view of the water and Lainé loved nothing more than to sit and watch the birds — and explain to anyone who would listen that you could tell which way the wind was blowing by looking at what direction the seagulls were facing. Lainé was an avid golfer, an occasional sailor and an unenthusiastic soccer spectator.

Lainé was preceded in death not only by his wife of 50 odd years (emphasis on odd), but by both his brothers, Alberto H. “Bud” Santa Maria, Jr. and Pierre “Pete” Santa Maria; and by three sisters, Marjorie “Bé” Holt, Marie Lee and Catherine “Kaki” Marshall. He is survived by his three children, Mark Lainé Santa Maria (Denise), Mary Stroot (Tom) and Margaret Dunn (Wally), as well as by his sister Elena Brazer.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church at 430 Valleybrook Road in Glen Mills, Penn. The viewing will precede the Mass, from 9:15-10:15 a.m., and burial will follow at St. Thomas the Apostle Cemetery in Glen Mills, Penn.

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