Photo from Newark Library.
Ramona Santiago was appointed deputy mayor in 1994. Her grandfather came from Spain to Newark in 1914. She operated the Santiago Funeral Home of Lafayette Street saying at appointment, “I’m raising my two children here and I want to see a better life for them and all children”.
She had already served on the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Ironbound Ambulance Squad board.
Later she was appointed as the third Hispanic municipal judge in 1998 (she was briefly appointed in 1994, but couldn’t stay on due to a new state law). She was appointed to the Superior Court in 2003
Santiago lived in Newark as a child before moving to Colonia in 1964. Santiago was Miss Middlesex County in 1973 when she was living in Colonia. She went to Upsala College and the McAllister School of Funeral Services. Her parents were chiropractors who died in a 1993 car accident.
Cummings, Charles. Rich Spanish Influence Runs Deep In City.
Sterling, Guy. State Law Change Cost Inexperienced Woman Her Position As Judge. Star Ledger. Aug 28, 1994.
Kukla Barbara. The Deputy Mayor Newark administrator is also a mother, businesswoman. July 18 1994.
She’s a coed pageant winner and embalmer, July 24, 1973
New Jersey Law Journal profile: https://judges.njlj.law.com/profile/Superior_Court,_Criminal_Division,_Essex_County/Ramona_Santiago/Ramona_Santiago-207.xml (lists wrong birth date, she’s 20 in 1973, making the year 1952 not 1942)
“Dr. Joseph Santiago 76 Sports Physician” Star Ledger Nov 13, 1993